There are several companies that are considered to be ahead of Tesla in autonomous driving, including:
- Waymo: Waymo, owned by Alphabet Inc. (Google’s parent company), is widely considered to be the leader in autonomous driving technology. The company has been testing its self-driving cars on public roads since 2009, and its vehicles have driven more than 20 million miles on public roads and over 10 billion miles in simulation. (1 - see footnote below)
- Cruise: Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors, is another major player in the autonomous driving space. The company has been testing its self-driving cars in San Francisco since 2015 and has already launched Robotaxis in San Francisco and plans to launch a commercial service in the near future in other cities.
- Mobileye: Mobileye, owned by Intel, is a leading provider of computer vision technology for autonomous vehicles. The company’s advanced driver assistance systems are used by several automakers, including BMW and Audi, and its self-driving technology is being tested in several cities around the world. (2 - see footnote below.)
- Baidu: Baidu, the Chinese search engine giant, has been investing heavily in autonomous driving technology and has launched several pilot programs in China. The company’s self-driving cars have already logged millions of miles on public roads in China.
- Zoox: Zoox, a self-driving car startup that was acquired by Amazon in 2020, is developing a fully autonomous vehicle that is designed for ride-hailing services. The company has been testing its vehicles on public roads in San Francisco and plans to launch a commercial service in the future. (3)
It’s worth noting that Tesla is still considered a major player in the autonomous driving space and has made significant progress in developing its Autopilot system. Auto-pilot is now known as a Level 2 Drive Assistance by the State of California’s DMV. However, these 5 companies above are often cited as being ahead of Tesla in terms of the sophistication and reliability of their autonomous driving technology.
Also, as far as Level 2, there are probably a half-dozen driver assistance programs in Ford, Cadillac, Mercedes, Audi, Toyota, Hyundai, VW, etc. whose Driver Assistance is beyond Tesla’s. Mercedes is now licensed for Level 3 Driver Assistance on German roads. The first auto manufacture to offer such software for real-life use. Audi and BMW. are closing in on Mercedes with their Level 3 software.
(1) Waymo is currently operating its self-driving cars in several locations across the United States for various purposes. Some of the locations where Waymo is currently being used include real-life ride hailing services with no driver in the car. These cars have no steering wheels, charge for rides, and the revenue is already flowing back to $GOOGL.
Some of these Waymo test areas are still in “beta” mode and are not yet charging.
Phoenix, Arizona: Waymo is currently offering a commercial ride-hailing service in the Phoenix metropolitan area called Waymo One. The service uses a fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans and allows riders to book trips using a mobile app.
San Francisco Bay Area, California: Waymo has been testing its self-driving cars in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2009. The company has also been testing its autonomous trucks in the area.
Detroit, Michigan: Waymo has been testing its self-driving cars in the Detroit area since 2017. The company has been working with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to develop autonomous versions of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan.
Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas: Waymo has been testing its autonomous trucks in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 2019. The company has been using the trucks to transport freight for several customers.
Kirkland, Washington: Waymo has been testing its self-driving cars in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland since 2017. The company has been using the area to test its cars in rainy conditions.
It’s worth noting that Waymo is constantly expanding its operations and may be testing its self-driving cars in additional locations in the future.
Intel spun off $MBLY last October:
Mobileye shares closed up more than 37% in their stock market debut on Wednesday after the maker of technology for self-driving cars was spun out of Intel.
In a year that’s seen no significant tech IPOs in the U.S., Mobileye offers investors an opportunity to get in on area of growth. But it’s not a new name for the market.
Mobileye was publicly traded before Intel bought the Israeli company in 2017 for $15.3 billion. At its IPO price of $21, Mobileye was valued at just $17 billion, resulting in minimal gains for Intel thus far. The stock, trading under the ticker MBLY, rose to $27.85 on Wednesday.
(3) Zoox website is pretty cool. “Built for Riders, Not Drivers.”
Bonus: Tesla Robotaxi bot on Twitter: