While Google has helped develop self-driving technology, auto manufacturers are the ones who have caught up with the technology, came out with their designs and have brought out actual cars that can be bought.
A couple of years back, when Google had unveiled its self-driving cars, there were raging rumours that Apple too was working on bring out one. It looked like the future of self-driving vehicles belonged to Silicon Valley instead traditional auto manufacturers.
It turns out, auto manufacturers took the bull by its horns. They weren’t ones to be left behind. Companies, including, VW, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Honda, Ford and GM, have already introduced vehicles with semi-autonomous features.
Google and Apple on the other hand have scaled back their involvement. While Google’s research on autonomous self-driving technology kickstarted the future of next-gen transportation, auto manufacturers have continued where Google stopped: while research future automobile technology is great, the ones who ship a finished product is declared the winner.
Not only are they putting vehicles on the road, they’re iterating faster than ever before. While earlier the accepted timeframe from design to showroom for a new car was 5 years now that has shrunk to 3. GM’s upcoming long-range EV, the Bolt, will go from design to retail in just below 3 years. Google has let it be known that it’s looking to partner with an auto manufacturer and Apple is reportedly doing the same.
Will auto manufacturers accommodate their requests? They have not only already established their own offices in Silicon Valley but have also recruited talent to build their own autonomous system.
While its commendable that large companies such as Apple and Google want to make our streets safer, their involvement have actually spurred the development in autonomous vehicles.
The next stage of development in autonomous driving tech is certainly going to be an exciting one. Looks like auto manufacturers are going to call the shots instead of the tech giants, who could push the technology even further.