On October 4 2015, CBS aired “Hands Off the Wheel“, a 60-minute documentary highlighting the Mercedes-Benz Self Driving car. This feature further increased publicity for the driverless vehicles. The immense and progressive awareness on driverless cars has resulted in several companies formulating plans and willing to invest in self-drive vehicles.
According to a CB Insights report, these companies are at different levels of investment. The report also showed that the arrival of self-drive vehicles will spark the largest auto-industry shake-up, insinuating that people should take a share of this market soon enough.
Top companies you could invest in, as identified in the report include;
Apple, an aggressive company seeking to dominate every area of technology from phones, laptops, televisions and even ‘pencils’, is now thinking of investing in autonomous vehicles. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is currently developing an electric car known as Titan, which is expected to be on the streets by 2019.
At a re/code conference earlier in May 2015, Apple Senior vice president Jeff Williams, said that Apple was exploring a lot of different markets. By all indications, autonomous vehicles market is one of them, at least according to a report by the Guardian published in August 2015. By the time of that publication, Apple was scouting for locations in San Francisco to test a driverless car. Additionally, Apple has recruited engineers experienced in autonomous vehicles from Volkwagen, Tesla and Nvidia among other players.
After announcing a joint self-driving research project in April 2014, Baidu and BMW are set to release an autonomous car by the end of 2015. The large search Chinese giant, is using technology to assist drivers other than replace them. It has also invested in Indoor Atlas and created its own mapping technology. Currently, the test cars are navigating the highways of Shanghai and Beijing.
A major advantage of using Baidu is the Chinese government’s flexibility and quick action in enacting large-scale legislation for driverless cars, a process that would take the American government much longer.
In January this year, Ford made public the Ford Smart Mobility Plan that aims to enhance innovation in the auto industry through projects that will promote autonomous vehicles and vehicle connectivity. At the time, a fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicle was undertaking road tests.
In June 2015, the company made another announcement stating that it had engaged a full team dedicated to developing self-drive vehicles, with the company hoping to be a major player in this market in the next 5 years.
Seeking to be a market leader in autonomous vehicles, General Motors announced a rather new innovation. In early October 2015, the company announced that it would introduce a fleet of autonomous plug-in gas-electric hybrid Chevrolet Volts by late 2016.
The company, through its Chevrolet brand has also partnered with SAIC Motors, a Chinese auto-manufacturer, to create a driverless and fully electric Chevrolet-FNR expected to be in the market by 2030.
Google is undoubtedly one of the most talked about self-drive car manufacturer. To show its commitment to the driverless car future, the company has dedicated a website to its self-drive car project. After testing a fleet of autonomous vehicles including Lexus SUVs, the company has moved a notch higher and recently employed auto industry veteran John Krafcik.
These are just a few companies you could consider investing in. According to them, the driverless future seems bright, and you can be part of it now as you wait to reap big in future.