GM now at the head of the autonomous driving technology pack, Tesla last

GM's Waymo has now moved to the top of the leaderboard
GM has now moved to the top of the leaderboard with the announcement they will have their first product to market in 2019

Navigant Research has issued a new iteration of its Leaderboard Report on Autonomous Driving (AD), reflecting the new partnerships, strategic investments and acquisitions made since the early version less than one year ago.

The Navigant AD Leaderboard assesses which participants are best-equipped to be the Leaders in developing complete automated driving stacks–including perception systems, processing, and control software–and services platforms. It quantifies the current relative position of each of these companies as the latest features are being developed and commercialized to help improve safety.

… Silicon Valley and the incumbent automotive industry are increasingly recognizing that each can benefit from the expertise of the other in commercializing this technology quickly. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has joined the partnership of BMW, Intel, and Mobileye. Bosch and Daimler are working together. Baidu and BAIC Group have a tie-up to bring the Chinese tech giant’s software to market with the aid of Bosch on the hardware side. Delphi split off its powertrain business, rebranded itself as Aptiv, and acquired nuTonomy.

–Navigant Leaderboard

In this latest report, General Motors (GM) and Waymo are effectively in a dead heat on the technology front; both companies are on the verge of having production ready AVs suitable for mobility services.

While Waymo has made progress on the business front with partnerships with Avis, AutoNation, and Lyft, GM still has the edge with the ability to manufacture vehicles and provide services through its dealer network, its captive finance arm, and the Maven mobility service division.

Ford’s move from 1st to 4th is more a reflection of the progress made by GM, Waymo, and Daimler than anything Ford has done wrong. Management changes at Ford have reinforced the company’s commitment to being a mobility service provider. This shift in the Leaderboard shows the highly dynamic nature of this market, with players able to make major moves forward with the right tie-ups and investment. As a reflection of this, this Leaderboard includes a section briefly describing the activities of 17 companies to watch, including Lyft, Valeo, ZF, and Didi.

–Navigant Leaderboard

Of note, Tesla ranked last in this Leaderboard, tied with Apple in the Challengers group. Navigant observed that while Tesla has been aggressive in promoting Autopilot, since ending its relationship with Mobileye the company has struggled to reach the same level of functionality with its in-house developed system.

Navigant’s evaluation criteria for the report include:

  • Vision
  • Go-to-Market Strategy
  • Partners
  • Production Strategy
  • Technology
  • Sales, Marketing, and Distribution
  • Product Capability
  • Product Quality and Reliability
  • Product Portfolio
  • Staying Power

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