10 Automakers, Tech Firms Researching Self-Driving Cars

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-12-28
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - 10 Automakers, Tech Firms Researching Self-Driving Cars
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    10 Automakers, Tech Firms Researching Self-Driving Cars

    From the big Detroit carmakers to Silicon Valley tech giants, many companies are developing car designs and components. We look at some of these companies.
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    2 - Tesla Sees Self-Driving Cars in Its Future
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    Tesla Sees Self-Driving Cars in Its Future

    Tesla has been one of the more outspoken carmakers about its plans for self-driving cars. The company has already unveiled Autopilot, which provides automatic steering, speed modifications, lane changing and parking, but it wants to eventually get to a point where all of its cars will be fully autonomous. Look for Tesla to be one of the leaders here.
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    3 - Reports Say Google, Ford Are Discussing Partnership
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    Reports Say Google, Ford Are Discussing Partnership

    Unconfirmed news reports say that Google and Ford will team up to develop self-driving cars. Although details are slim at the moment, Ford is reportedly looking at a way to form a joint venture with Google to build autonomous vehicles. The company could announce the deal as soon as CES in January, though neither Google nor Ford will say that's the case.
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    4 - China's Baidu Wants to Be Self-Driving Car Pioneer
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    China's Baidu Wants to Be Self-Driving Car Pioneer

    China-based search engine Baidu has already put self-driving cars on the road. Through a partnership with BMW, the company announced earlier this year that it was able to successfully navigate a road in Beijing as part of its ongoing testing of self-driving cars. Baidu hopes to be one of the first companies in the world to get self-driving cars on the road. It should be interesting to see if it can make it happen.
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    5 - Google Has Been Working on Self-Driving Cars for Years
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    Google Has Been Working on Self-Driving Cars for Years

    Google has been testing various self-driving car designs since at least 2012 and has logged tens of thousands of miles. It has been developing software to control these cars for years. Google recently announced that its self-driving car program would be spun off into its own operation to allow it to break away from the search company and chart its own course.
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    6 - Toyota Eyes Ways to Get Cars on the Road
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    Toyota Eyes Ways to Get Cars on the Road

    Toyota confirmed in October that it's dramatically expanding its research in self-driving cars with the ultimate goal of getting its technology, which it's called Highway Teammate, on roads by 2020. It was an interesting move by Toyota, which had previously said it would not want to break into autonomous driving. It seems that it's had a change of heart.
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    7 - General Motors Developing Chevrolet Self-Driving Car
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    General Motors Developing Chevrolet Self-Driving Car

    General Motors' Chevrolet earlier this year unveiled a concept muscle car that comes with sports car-like styling and another core feature: autonomous driving. The company didn't say when it thinks it can finally get the self-driving car on roads since regulatory scrutiny is still a major question mark in all 50 states. But Chevrolet has made it abundantly clear that it wants to find ways to get into the self-driving market.
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    8 - Mercedes-Benz Concept Car Puts 'Luxury in Motion'
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    Mercedes-Benz Concept Car Puts 'Luxury in Motion'

    Mercedes-Benz shocked the car industry earlier this year when it unveiled its F 015 concept car. The vehicle, which it calls "Luxury in Motion," comes with an outstanding design, a striking interior and the ability to cruise around town without driver intervention. The car is clearly designed more for passenger comfort than driving and may stand out in the market if the vehicle ever hits the road.
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    9 - Honda Testing Acura Autonomous Cars
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    Honda Testing Acura Autonomous Cars

    Honda is testing its self-driving car technologies through its Acura brand. Earlier this year, the company was able to win approval from California to test self-driving cars on the state's streets. Since then, some of its cars have reportedly been on the road for short trips. While Honda is a little late to the self-driving market—Audi and others received approval months earlier—it's now pushing ahead with the technology.
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    10 - Volkswagen, Audi Move Beyond the Diesel Engine
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    Volkswagen, Audi Move Beyond the Diesel Engine

    Volkswagen may be dealing with an emissions scandal, but the company wants to be one of the leaders in the self-driving car market. A Volkswagen autonomous vehicle completed a 1,500-mile trek across Mexico earlier this year and another of its brands, Audi, is already promoting self-driving concept vehicles. Expect Volkswagen to be among the early entrants into the market once self-driving cars are cleared to navigate the roads in various nations and the United States.
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    11 - Apple Reportedly Building an Electric Car
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    Apple Reportedly Building an Electric Car

    The rumors about Apple just won't go away. Although the company won't talk about its plans, countless rumors suggest that Apple is extremely interested in building an electric car that would also feature self-driving technology. There have been persistent reports that Apple has recruited employees from Tesla and other prominent carmakers to build up an electric car development program. Apple is remaining coy about its plans, but it certainly seems plausible, given the sheer number of reports that have cropped up.
 

Self-driving car technology is a hot topic. Google and Ford are reportedly working on a joint venture in this field and a number of autonomous car concepts and projects will likely appear at CES 2016. Self-driving cars use a wide range of sensors and lasers that identify objects and keep cars moving, braking and on course without input from a human driver. Various car designs are being tested or are in development. But laws fully defining and regulating self-driving cars have yet to be adopted or even considered by most U.S. state legislatures. It's completely unclear how self-driven cars will share the highways with the millions of driven cars on the road. We can only imagine what changes self-driven cars will bring to an American car culture that has been established for well over a century. Still, if the number of carmakers getting into the market is any indication, it's clear that self-driving cars will become part of the landscape. From the big Detroit carmakers to Silicon Valley tech giants, many companies are developing car designs and components. This slide show will cover the various companies that want to build a business from self-driving cars.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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