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All Major Self-Driving Car Companies

Around 2045 half of new vehicles are expected to be autonomous. Here’s a list of all the major self-driving car companies categorized by funding, valuation, and company type. In fact, the self-driving car development has progressed rapidly in the past two years so it’s time to update my previous outlook from 2018.

Photo by iStock

Before moving on to the players in the market it’s good to know when to expect the results. Luckily Victoria Transport Policy institute published recently their 2020 prediction (see the picture below) regarding the speed of autonomous vehicles implementation. The main change from the 2018 version is that the it would take until 2045 (instead of 2030) before half of new vehicles will be self-driving.

Source: Autonomous Vehicle Implementation Predictions, Littman / Victoria Transport Policy Institute, March 24th, 2020

Top 20 with the Biggest Funding

During the past decades the ‘common belief’ about the ballpark figure needed to implement self-driving cars has increased substantially. In the beginning it was estimated to be ‘hundreds of millions’ but was soon replaced with ‘few billions’. The latest estimate from The Information in May 2020 is that the 30 biggest companies have all together invested $16bn, but the final breakthrough is going to require $50bn. However, even though the investments seem huge, the estimated future market size $8 trillion makes it worth trying.

  1. Waymo $15bn (1st external funding round $3bn in 5/2020)
  2. Cruise $5.3bn (GM with Softbank $3.4bn, Honda $750M)
  3. Aptiv $4bn
  4. Argo AI $3.6bn (Volkswagen $2.6bn, Ford $1bn)
  5. Toyota $2.8bn
  6. Uber $2bn (estimated by The Information 5/2020)
  7. Baidu $1bn (estimated by The Information 5/2020)
  8. Daimler and BMW $1bn
  9. Apple $1bn (estimated by The Information 5/2020)
  10. Volkswagen Autonomy $ TBC (announced 10/2019)
  11. Zoox $955M
  12. Nuro $940M
  13. Pony AI $726M
  14. Aurora Innovations $690M (Amazon $530M)
  15. Pony.ai $400M
  16. AutoX $160M
  17. May Mobility $83M
  18. Navya $64M
  19. Voyage $51M
  20. Optimus Ride $50M
Source: The Information Feb 5th, 2020

Highest Valuations

Some of the players are publicly listed operating in other markets (car manufacturing, technology, ride hailing, etc) whereas some others are privately funded companies focusing strictly on self-driving cars.

  • Microsoft $1,3tn
  • Apple $1,2tn
  • Amazon $1,1tn
  • Alphabet $856bn
  • Toyota $176bn
  • Tesla $142bn
  • Volkswagen $71bn
  • Didi Chuxing $55bn
  • Uber $51bn
  • Daimler $35bn
  • BMW $35bn
  • Baidu $33bn
  • General Motors $32bn
  • Ford $21bn
  • Cruise $19bn
  • Intel-Mobileye $15bn
  • Geely $14bn
  • Yandex $12bn

Companies investing in self-driving cars by category

Self-driving car companies (ordered by funding amount):

  • Waymo (Alphabet)
  • Cruise (GM, Honda)
  • Argo AI (Ford, Volkswagen)
  • Volkswagen Autonomy
  • Zoox
  • Pony AI (Baidu)
  • Aurora Innovations (Amazon)
  • AutoX
  • Voyage
  • Navya
  • May Mobility
  • Five
  • Comma.ai (focusing on ADAS after regulator warning)

All above (except from Argo AI, Navya, May Mobility, Comma.ai) have received permits in California to participate in the CPUC’s Drivered Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service Pilot program.

Ride-hailing companies:

  • Didi Chuxing (China) $57bn (private, latest funding $1,1bn in 7/2019)
  • Uber (USA) $51bn (public)
  • Lyft (USA) $10bn (public)
  • Ola (India) $10bn (private, latest funding $300M in 2019)
  • Go-jek (Southeast Asia) $10bn (private, latest funding $1,2bn in 2020)
  • Grab (Southeast Asia) $9bn (private, latest funding $850M in 2020)

Didi Chuxing self-driving car lab in Silicon Valley, announced 8/2019 that it will start offering free rides in self-driving cars in Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzen in 2020 and other global markets in 2021. Has also a 60% ownership in a joint venture with Volkswagen in Shanghai.

Uber self-driving unit was valued $7bn in IPO in 2019. Aims to have driverless taxi service with Volvo cars in 2022 because drivers account for 80% of the company’s cost per mile.

American car manufacturers:

  • GM with Honda invested in Cruise $5,3bn funding.
  • Ford acquired Argo AI for $1bn in 2/2017. Partnered with Dominos and Postmates in 2017 and with Walmart in 2018 to operate self-driving delivery vehicles.
  • FCA with Waymo (providing cars)
  • Tesla released the semi-autonomous AutoPilot in 2014 and has promised to launch self-driving taxis still in 2020.

European car manufacturers:

  • Volkswagen with Argo AI and Volkswagen Autonomy
  • Audi AV-investment $16bn by 2023 (Here w Daimler, BMW with $3bn valuation in 2017)
  • BMW & Daimler partnership since 7/2019 committed 1.200 technicians to get AVs on road by 2024. Collaboration with Intel and Mobileye. Taxi service in California with Bosch since 2019.
  • DAF, Daimler, Iveco, MAN, Scania and Volvo. Daimler announced in 2018 that it is committed to invest $570M in autonomous truck technology with main focus in self-driving truck platoons connected with each other.

Japanese car manufacturers:

  • Toyota stated in 2014 that it is not investing in self-driving cars, but reversed strategy in 2015 by investing $1bn and currently the investments amount to $2,8bn. Has invested in Pony AI to automate Lexus cars and partnered with Nvidia and Suzuki.
  • Honda with GM in Cruise
  • Nissan Renault Mitsubishi partnered with Waymo in summer 2019 to bring driverless cars into Japan and France.
  • SoftBank in joint venture with Japanese Advanced Smart Mobility to develop self-driving car technology and a partnership with the Finnish Sensible4 to develop driverless shuttle buses to Europe and Japan.

Chinese car manufacturers:

Other car manufacturers:

  • Hyundai-Kia invested $4bn in joint venture with Aptiv in 9/2019 to bring self-driving cars into market in 2025.
  • Jaguar Land Rover focuses on driver assistance technology and provides cars to Waymo, but launched an autonomy ready shuttle in 2020
  • PSA developing self-driving cars with nuTonomy (acquired by Aptiv) since 2017.

Technology MAGA:

  • Amazon, Aurora ($530M Series B with $2bn valuation in 1/2019), Rivian
  • Apple Project Titanium, acquired Drive.ai (former valuation $200bn) in 6/2019
  • Microsoft supplies cloud services to companies working on self-driving car technology. Works with Toyota on robotics & AI and supplies HoloLens technology to Volvo self-driving cars.
  • Waymo commonly believed to be the number one in self-driving cars

Other Technology Giants:

  • Baidu’s (the “Chineses Google”) Apollo platform with 150 partners “the Android of automotive” including Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Toyota. The Chines AV market $500bn by 2030 and 2/3 of worldwide miles by 2040 (McKinsey)
  • Cisco working on connecting individual automobiles on the road with infrastructure around them since 10/2017.
  • Huawei partnered with Vodafone on cellular car connecting technology and with Volkswagen, GAC, Beijing New Energy Automobile, and Changan Automobile in order to launch self-driving cars in 2021.
  • Intel’s Autonomous Driving Group (ADG) and $250M investments through Intel Capital
  • Nvidia has provided self-driving car technology to Tesla, Toyota, Baidu, Bosch, and truck maker Paccar.
  • Samsung developed self-driving Hyundai vehicles since 2017. Provides self-driving car technology platform and mobile network infrastructure to car manufacturers.
  • Yandex (the “Russian Google”) began working on driverless car technology in 2016

Automotive Tier 1 technology vendors:

  • Aptiv (acquired Ottomatika, Nutonomy, IPO with $7bn valuation in 2011) , Lyft, BMW
  • Bosch $1,1bn investment in AVs. Taxi service with Daimler since 2019. Autonomous Vehicles Computing Consortium with Toyota, GM, Continental, Nvidia, NXP since 10/2019. 2 years exclusive agreement with Mercedes in 4/2017. Semi-automated ADAS in many Mercedes models.
  • Continental focusing on driver-assist technologies and smart car infrastructure. Partnership with Nvidia to build self-driving vehicle systems.
  • Magna manufacturing cars to Waymo and Apple.
  • Panasonic is preparing for a future where most of the cars are sold to ride-hailing companies like Uber or Didi Chuxing
  • Tata Elsxi started investments in self-driving cars in 2015 but re-focused on assisted driving technology in 2019.
  • Valeo has been investing in self-driving cars since the 2015 partnership with Mobileye. Focuses mainly on advanced driver assistance systems.
  • Visteon invests in advanced driver assistance systems, which should scale to full autonomy later on

Autonomous Vehicles Testing Permit in California

As of February 26, 2020, DMV has issued Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permits (with a driver) to the following entities:

  • Almotive Inc: “Bringing automated driving to all”
  • Ambarella Corporation: “AI Vision Processors For Edge Applications”
  • Apex.ai: “Safe and certified software for autonomous mobility”
  • Apple Inc. “Bringing the best user experience to customers through innovative hardware, software, and services.”
  • Argo AI, LLC: “Developing a self-driving system
    built on trust”
  • Atlas Robotic, Inc.: “Our robots mean business”
  • Aurora Innovation: “We’re working to deliver the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly”
  • AutoX Technologies Inc: “Democratizing Autonomy”
  • Baidu USA LLC: “One of the R&D centers of Baidu, whose mission is to make a complicated world simpler through technology”
  • BMW: “The Road to Autonomous Driving”
  • Bosch: “Self-driving car technology — Between man and machine”
  • Boxbot Inc: “The future of local package delivery”
  • Changan Automobile: “China’s first locally made car with the ability to drive itself”
  • Continental Automotive Systems Inc: “Your seamless mobility experience”
  • Cruise LLC: “A self-driving car service designed for the cities we love”
  • CYNGN, Inc: “Autonomous driving software for commercial and industrial machines”
  • Deeproute.ai Ltd: “Deep Automation — Smart Route”
  • Delphi Automotive: “We are driven to make a difference”
  • DiDi Research America LLC: “Transforming how people reach their destinations”
  • EasyMile: “Autonomous future, today”
  • Faraday & Future Inc.: “Transformation Solutions”
  • Ford: “Helping people move through life with driverless transportation solutions”
  • Gatik AI. Inc.: “Autonomous Vehicles For B2B Short-Haul Logistics”
  • Helm.AI Inc: “Scalable AI for autonomous driving”
  • Honda: “Works jointly with Cruise and General Motors to fund and develop a purpose-built autonomous vehicle for Cruise”
  • Imagry Inc.: “Mapless Autonomous Driving”
  • Intel Corp (Mobileye): “Sensing the Future”
  • Kaizr, Inc: “Building the Safest Self-Driving Systems”
  • Leonis Technologies North America LLC: “Autonomous Driving — no time for blackouts”
  • Lyft, Inc: “We can change transportation together”
  • Mercedes Benz: “Autonomous driving will fundamentally revolutionise the automobile”
  • Mando America Corporation: “We are involved with the design, testing and application of automotive braking, steering and suspension systems”
  • Navya Inc.: “New mobility is here. Autonomous, shared and electric.”
  • NIO USA, Inc.: “A pioneer in China’s premium electric vehicle market”
  • Nissan: “The future is now”
  • Nullmax: “Founded in Silicon Valley, Based in China, Serve the World”
  • Nuro, Inc: “Delivering the future of local commerce, autonomously”
  • NVIDIA Corporation: “Building AI-Powered Self-Driving Cars”
  • Phantom AI: “Democratizing advanced driver assistance systems”
  • PlusAi Inc: “Shaping the future of trucking”
  • Pony.AI: “Autonomous mobility everywhere”
  • Qcraft.ai: “Bring Autonomous Driving into Real Life”
  • Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.: “You see us everywhere you see 5G”
  • Renovo.auto: “The Award-Winning Automotive Data Platform”
  • Ridecell Inc.: “How shareable becomes profitable”
  • SAIC Innovation Center, LLC: “Moving The Industry That Moves The World”
  • Samsung Electronics: “Autonomous Driving and the Quest for Safety”
  • SF Motors Inc.: “We design a better future — you drive it”
  • Subaru: “There’s safe, and there’s Subaru safe”
  • Telenav, Inc.: “Connected cars made smarter & safer”
  • Tesla Motors: “All Tesla cars being produced now have full self-driving hardware”
  • ThorDrive Inc: “Delivers future to you”
  • TORC Robotics Inc: “Proven self-driving technologies, ready to hit the road”
  • Toyota Research Institute: “To develop automated driving, robotics, and other human amplification technology for Toyota.”
  • TuSimple: “A better way forward”
  • Uber Advanced Technologies Group: “Bring safe, reliable self-driving transportation to everyone, everywhere”
  • Udacity, Inc: “Become a self-driving car engineer”
  • Udelv: “Reinventing Delivery with Autonomous Driving”
  • Valeo North America, Inc.: “Smart technology for smart cars”
  • Volkswagen Group of America: “We make self-driving cars happen”
  • Voyage: “Delivering on the promise of self-driving cars”
  • Waymo LLC: “We’re building the world’s most experienced driver”
  • WeRide Corp: “Transform mobility with autonomous driving”
  • Xmotors.ai, Inc: “Designs and manufactures automobiles that are seamlessly integrated with advanced internet, AI and autonomous driving technologies”
  • Zoox, Inc.: “creating autonomous mobility from the ground up”


Some of my articles on the Future of Mobility



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Erkka Niemi, PhD

Erkka Niemi, PhD

Technology enthusiast CTO with a lifelong addiction to skateboarding in Helsinki & Palo Alto @Unikieinc @AaltoUniversity #SelfDrivingCars #DeepTech