You may have seen countless online videos of self-driving cars or the recent 60 Minutes episode showing one being tested on a highway near Silicon Valley. This is because autonomous driving has been a goal for the automotive industry for decades. As the online videos and 60 Minutes episode show, autonomous driving is close to becoming a realistic objective that can be achieved. With the autonomous vehicle market quickly evolving, who are the leaders? Navigant Research provides the answer to this question.

Although fully-automated vehicles that do not require a human driver are expected to be about 10 years away from production, the incremental systems that are necessary as foundations for self-driving cars should make their way into production in a much shorter time frame. The desire to reduce injuries and deaths resulting from traffic accidents and the potential to reduce overall energy use represent the biggest factors behind vehicle automation. However, reliability and security, as well as liability issues, pose major barriers to the adoption of autonomous driving. Over the past decade, though, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) have begun to rapidly spread from high-end luxury cars to more affordable, high-volume models. By 2020, manufacturers are expected to offer enhanced self-driving capability that includes the ability to change lanes and follow simple directions from a navigation system. Drivers will still need to monitor progress and be prepared to take over when the traffic situation gets too complex. Truly driverless cars are expected by 2025, but this date will depend on legislative changes as well as consistent improvements in technology.

In order to determine the leaders, Navigant Research examined the strategy and execution of 18 global vehicle manufacturers that are involved in the emerging autonomous vehicle market (other companies such as Google were not included in the study). These manufacturers were rated on 12 criteria: vision, go-to-market strategy, partnerships, production strategy, technology, geographic reach, sales, marketing and distribution, product capability, product quality and reliability, product portfolio, pricing and company commitment.

Based on Navigant’s analysis, here are the top 10 manufacturers:

  1. Daimler
  2. Audi
  3. BMW
  4. General Motors
  5. Volvo
  6. Ford
  7. Toyota
  8. Honda
  9. Volkswagen
  10. Nissan


Ryan Lahti is the founder and managing principal of OrgLeader, LLC. Stay up to date on Ryan’s STEM-based organization tweets here: @ryanlahti

(Photo: Dollar Photo Club)