DriverlessRatings Top 3
From time to time we plan to stack rank the companies pursuing Level 5 driverless technology. We will try to rely as much as possible on the reviews that we receive but that may be limited prior to these companies releasing their technology to the general public.
Other factors that will impact the rankings: miles driven, known accidents, announced plans, applied resources, team, along with a wide variety of other considerations. As these companies continue to release the technology and we gather reviews, each company will be given a total Driverless Ratings score. This score will be the number one determinant of their ranking in the future. For now, here are our top three:
1. Waymo - With 7 million actual miles driven, and billions more miles simulated, Waymo leads the pack when it comes to driverless technology.
2. GM Cruise - With the most test vehicles on the road in California, a rideshare pilot appears imminent.
3. Tesla - Though more like a Level 2 autonomous driving system (Waymo and GM Cruise are closer to Level 4), Tesla has more miles driven in a broad range of locations than any other company.
It has been a busy week for our top three. Trending upwards are Waymo and GM Cruise. Trending downward is Tesla. Let's dig a little deeper to see what each company has been up to over the last few week.
Waymo in the News
Waymo has agreed to purchase up to an additional 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans. This is in preparation for the launch of their rideshare program expected to launch later this year.
In other news for Waymo, Uber confirmed their desire to have Waymo driverless vehicles participate in their rideshare network. Waymo has not confirmed or denied its interest in this partnership but this is a seemingly Uber admitting that Waymo is far ahead of it and other companies when it comes to driverless technology.
GM Cruise in the News
The biggest news for GM Cruise is that it announced that it was taking a 2.25 billion dollar investment from SoftBank, a technology investment company who also has a stake in Uber. It is not entirely clear what this investment will be put towards but two major initiatives are seemingly in the works.
First, GM Cruise is still in the process of obtaining permits to begin testing its driverless vehicles in New York City. This is obviously a very ambitious project that will require a lot of recourses. Next, according to emails obtained,
GM Cruise also wants to launch a driverless car sharing service in San Franciso in the very near future. They have been testing a lot of cars there recently and although they have not been without incidents, the project has been successful in preparing the company to launch the service to the general public.
Tesla in the News
At the Tesla shareholders meeting on 6/5/2018, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk gave two major updates on Autopilot. First, an updated version would be coming as soon as this week. Second, customers who decided not to purchase the Autopilot functionality will be able to test it for a month at no cost. The over the air updates continue to be one of Tesla's greatest strengths. Continual improvement is made much easier when it can be done over the air and via software updates.
This is bright news in what has otherwise been a tough couple weeks for Tesla Autopilot. Another high profile accident occurred in California when a vehicle in Autopilot crashed into an emergency response vehicle. There were no serious injuries but the media, as with other accidents where Autopilot was involved, jumped all over the opportunity to cover this story.
That's it for now. Check back soon for our updated Driverless Ratings Top 3. We don't know what the Top 3 will look like, but there is sure to be some major happenings in the near term for all of these companies.
Image credit: Pascal Richier