This isn’t a belated April Fools joke
A new Navigant Research Leaderboard Report on automated driving says Hyundai and ten other companies, including Ford and GM which ranked first and second, respectively, top Tesla in terms of companies showing the most progress in the autonomous driving space.
The report stands in stark contrast with public perception that Silicon Valley-based Tesla, which ranked eleventh in the assessment, is a technology company and dominant force who has spearheaded the movement towards self-driving vehicles.
Let’s dig into what Navigant looked at in order to make the assessment. Navigant opens the report by hailing autonomous driving technology as a key element to relieving society of the many pains of traffic. In the last five years, autonomous vehicle technology has improved leaps and bounds with Tesla at the forefront of the discussion.
With autonomous driving technology poised to deliver vast improvements in overall driver safety, reductions in traffic congestion, and improved air quality, auto manufacturers are racing to become the first to market with a product consumers can trust. Tesla has arguably brought more active safety and autonomous driving technology to market, with features like Enhanced Autopilot, Emergency Braking, Summon, Forward Collision Warnings, upcoming road sign detection to name a few, than other automakers within the industry. The Elon Musk-led company has improved vehicle safety to the point where insurance companies are offering lower rates on Tesla vehicles.
Looking beyond what is already in production today, Musk has plans for Tesla to roll out its fully autonomous Full Self-Driving capability to production this year.
With such a wide lead on the competition when it comes to the production roll out of a full suite of autonomous driving technology, how did Ford and GM come out on top? The report looked at an array of factors to determine the state of not just the technology, but the full company and how likely it is to succeed with autonomous vehicle technology as a result. It specifically looked at vision; go-to market strategy; partners; production strategy; technology; sales, marketing, and distribution; product capability; product quality and reliability; product portfolio; and staying power in making the assessment.
While the arguably semi-biased Navigant report, produced in part by an ex-content lead for Ford, does not change the perception that autonomous driving technology will lead to a societal change in mobility, it does provide a different perspective than many of us inside the Tesla bubble and Elon Musk’s reality distortion field are used to seeing.