Self-driving tecnology is able to revolutionize the automotive industry becoming a driver of growth in a market which is no longer just the preserve of the traditional car manufacturers, but also of players from the IT. In the self-driving arena we have now Google Self-Driving Car (recently teamed with FCA), the chip maker Nvidia (Audi partners), but also the web giant Baidu (biggest Chinese search engine) that is conducting self-driving tests in China and California. Baidu strengthened their existing alliance with BMW. This looks a very smart move being the German giants celebrating their 100 years and focusing on accelerating the self-driving technology and try to not loose the market share to Audi and Mercees, two houses (the rivals) who are very “self-driving” forward.
Last but not least we have Uber which is planning to launch a full fleet of Robo Cars in the next few cars acting as self-driving taxis. Still not confirmed but it looks there will definitely be some luxurious self-driving car by Apple as well. And in the game there are also new “electric” players in the automotive world as Tesla, a company that has the singular distinction of having a value of more and higher Stock Exchange (even 30 billion dollars) compared with budgets increasingly in the red. And there are many who wonder whether the number one Elon Musk will win the challenge or if Tesla will be acquired.
It must be said that not all the hi-tech world is jumping on the bandwagon of autonomous driving: Intel and Microsoft are in fact absent. A key role is in the maps (software) and not coincidentally Audi, BMW and Merceds have created a triple alliance to buy (with 2.8 billion) ex-maps Nokia Here.
There will be as well benefits to be derived from increased safety on the roads: less injured, less damage and fewer deaths. the technology has already done wonders for road safety: it happened with the Abs (bosch estimated 100 billion rasparmi in the way on health care costs in 20 years from the requirement of 1996), continued with electronic safety systems and is going forward with adaptive cruise control, and with the many cars that are holding their own.
And if the later builders are Audi, BMW and Mercedes do not overlook Honda, Volvo and Toyota, also thanks to the contribution of suppliers such as Bosch (Tesla is partnered with Bosch), Delphi and Continental which have long have already put up sensors, actuators and control units required for functionality of the cars to autonomous driving.
Fca instead invests prudently and shook, as mentioned, a deal with Google, to do tests with 100 peaceful Chrysler minivan. But back to the brands that really could be the winning variable automotive supply in the coming years. Audi, for example, has a camera mounted behind the windshield to detect any moving object in front of the car up to a radius of 100 meters and up to 85 km / h. If necessary, the Pre Sense City automatically brakes the car, up to 40 km7h and is able to ward off the impact, while between 40 and 85 kmh decreases the speed limits to the minimum the consequences of an accident. And for example up to 65 km / h Audi also steers alone, orienting thanks to the markings.
Then there is Volvo, which in 2017 put on the road the first 100 selected customers on cars equipped with guidance systems at truly autonomous driving, thanks to the Swedish administration collaboration that not only authorized the experiment already a long time ago, but He has made significant investments to develop the infrastructure. In addition, the Swedish brand offers an advanced package of driver assistance: Auto Pilot that does it all on the accelerator, brakes and steering up to 50 kmh. And BMW? The maximum it provides the new flagship, Series 7. Its Driving Assistant Plus includes, in fact, the assistance to the trajectory control, prevention of back and side collision comes to prevent the driver to accelerate to leave. But the plan of the Bavarian is pushing as mentioned before towards new Frontire.
Honda, however, since 2005 mounts on standard cars adaptive cruise control with assisted steering, able to act on the steering for the vehicle to follow the lines defining the lane. Just Honda also announced that by 2020, on the occasion of the Olympics to be held in Tokyo will market the first vehicle completely autonomous.
On the new Mercedes E-Class offers solutions for a semi-automatic guidance, as well as Tesla, for that matter. Finally Toyota already cars the Japanese manufacturer today can exchange data between them. The Japanese have, in fact, developed the ITS which stands for Intelligent Transportation System that provides all the information about traffic and the other cars more or less close and that airborne systems can not detect. The system does not even escape pedestrians or other cars, not to mention cyclists or motorbike: the ITS also alerts the driver with both audible alarms and visual. In addition, the Toyota ITS enables adaptive cruise control of two cars to exchange data if a knows what the other is doing, buffering becomes, in fact, impossible.
Do not forget, finally, also the impact on the design of the self-driving industry: as the technologies become more sophisticated design will definitely become the key marketing factor for winning the self-driving cars sales battle. Still not interested Apple?