Navigant Research’s Sam Abuelsamid comments in USA Today on the leading companies in the fully autonomous vehicles market
In the current competition for leading the autonomous vehicle market, two main competitors are battling for control. According to a USA Today article, General Motors (GM) is currently in step with Waymo, Google’s autonomous driving company, to bring the first fully self-driving vehicles to consumers.
Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst with Navigant Research and author of the Leaderboard: Automated Driving Vehicles study, said that GM’s vehicle unit, GM Cruise, is making great progress in several different cities.
"They have been mapping vehicles for New York City. It's now up to New York state as to when they will decide to give out driverless permits. They have not given it yet to any company," said Abuelsamid.
After a recent trip to GM in San Francisco, Abuelsamid also observed an increase in autonomous vehicles driving in the city since GM’s release of an autonomous vehicle ride-sharing app called Cruise Anywhere. Alongside the app, Abuelsamid said GM showed him a dispatch platform for tracking autonomous vehicles in real time. The platform can check if vehicles are occupied and battery charge levels, take control of vehicles in case of an emergency, and dispatch them to passengers using the Cruise Anywhere application.
According to USA Today's article, observers say GM and Waymo’s autonomous vehicles still require humans behind the wheel for safety, but the pace of learning has GM poised to beat competitors to self-driving through a ride-sharing platform in 2019.
In the future, "GM and Waymo overall are the leaders. GM's technology is as good as Waymo's, and they have the capability to develop and service those vehicles. They're in good shape," said Abuelsamid.