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Ford Leads the Pack in Autonomous Car Tech, Study Says

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/3/2017 Motor Trend Staff
Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Development Vehicle© Motor Trend Staff Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Development Vehicle

Every major automaker is working on autonomous car technology to some extent, whether it's developing advanced cruise control systems or fully autonomous vehicles. And surprisingly, the companies making the most headlines aren't necessarily the ones leading the pack, if one study is to be believed.

Ford-Fusion-with-Autonomous-Tech.jpg Ford Leads the Pack in Autonomous Car Tech, Study Says

Navigant Research studied 18 different companies to determine the leaders in the autonomous car space. It looked at suppliers, automakers, tech giants, and mobility services like Uber to create a list of the top 10 vendors of autonomous tech, also labeling each company as either a "leader," "contender," "challenger," or "follower."

Ford scored the very top spot. The automaker recently showed off its next-generation Fusion Hybrid autonomous test vehicle and is planning a major expansion to its Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, Calif. The automaker says it willoffer self-driving cars without a steering wheel or pedals by 2021, specifically for ride-sharing services. In a Medium blog post, Chief Technology Officer Raj Nair discusses the benefits of Ford's autonomous car strategy, which integrates vehicle manufacturing with autonomous software and ride-sharing.

General Motors, which bought startup company Cruise Automation, ranks second on the list. Among other things, the automaker has partnered with Lyft to form a network of on-demand autonomous cars across the U.S. Of all companies included in the study, GM and Ford were the only automakers considered "leaders" in autonomous driving tech, along with Renault/Nissan and Daimler, which earned third and fourth place respectively.

A whole host of automakers were included in the "contender" category, including BMW, Waymo, VW Group, Hyundai Motor Group, Toyota, PSA, Delphi, Volvo, and Tesla. Other companies—including Honda, nuTonomy, Baidu, and Uber—fell into the lesser category of "challenger." So far, no company is deemed a "follower" when it comes to self-driving technology.

Navigant Research examined 10 different criteria in determining the rankings. The points include vision, go-to market strategy, partners, production strategy technology, sales, marketing and distribution, product capability, product quality and reliability, product portfolio, and staying power.

Check out the complete top 10 ranking below:

  1. Ford
  2. GM
  3. Renault-Nissan Alliance
  4. Daimler
  5. Volkswagen Group
  6. BMW
  7. Waymo
  8. Volvo/Autoliv/Zenuity
  9. Delphi
  10. Hyundai Motor Group

Source: Navigant Research via TechCrunch

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