Posts

News Roundup: Daimler to Build Driverless Cars for Uber, France Gets More Autonomous Metro Lines, and More

Jennifer van der Kleut

A look at some of the most interesting headlines to come out of the driverless and connected-vehicle industries this week:

Daimler to manufacture self-driving cars for Uber

This week, German auto manufacturer Daimler and ride-hailing giant Uber announced a new partnership in which Daimler will manufacture a self-driving car for Uber. Uber spokespersons said they expect their new driverless cars to be added to their ride-hailing fleets in the next few years. The partnership is not exclusive, however–Uber remains free to work with other auto manufacturers, and Daimler reportedly remains free to build self-driving cars for other companies as well. Read more from the New York Times.

 

French transport authority signs contract to make two metro lines driverless

The city of Lyon, France is ready to embrace driverless technology. Lyon transport authority Sytral has awarded the firm Alstom a contract worth 91 million Euros to upgrade signalling for driverless operation on two lines of the Lyon metro. At the same time, Sytral will also equip the already driverless Line D with the new signalling, which is due to go live in 2023. The upgrade is part of Sytral’s Future Metro 2020 program, which aims to increase rider capacity on metro lines A, B and D in response to a predicted 30-percent increase in ridership. Read more from Metro-Report International.

 

EasyMile EZ10 shuttle bus takes mayor, passengers for test ride in New Orleans

On the second stop of its U.S. tour, after wowing passengers in Atlanta, the EasyMile EZ10 driverless shuttle took the mayor of New Orleans along with a number of members of the public for a ride down Convention Center Boulevard. The shuttle bus can transport up to 12 passengers at a time and can go at speeds of up to 40 km per hour. The free rides were presented by Easy Mile, the startup company that engineered the shuttles, and Transdev, the private company that runs the operations of the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority. Read more and see a video from The New Orleans Advocate.

 

Photo: Autonomous metro trains in Lyon, France/Credit: Wikipedia

News Roundup: Russia Developing Autonomous Mini-Bus, Velodyne’s Lidar System Takes Off, and Google Car Team Gets a New Director

Jennifer van der Kleut

A roundup of some of the most recent headlines from the driverless transportation industry.

Russia teams up to develop electric autonomous mini-bus

Yandex–otherwise known as the Google of Russia–announced it is working on its own autonomous vehicle, a 12-passenger mini-bus. The company said it is teaming up with Daimler, the government-backed NAMI automotive research facility, and truck manufacturer Kamaz. Yandex is expected to contribute its knowledge in computer vision, artificial intelligence and speech recognition to the project. NAMI has said the minibus could begin testing as early as 2017. The electric mini-bus will be designed to be able to travel up to 200 km, or 124 miles, before it needs recharging. Read more about Russia’s autonomous minibus on Futurism.

Google’s self-driving car team poaches new director from Airbnb

Following the departure of former CTO Chris Urmson, Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving car team announced a new director this week. The team appears to have poached Airbnb’s head, Shaun Stewart, who will be resigning his post as Airbnb’s global head of vacation rentals to take up his new director position at Google. Analysts are speculating that Google plans to speed up its driverless car timeline under Stewart’s leadership–and that, potentially, it could also mean the self-driving car team could spin out and become it’s own company, rather than a division of Alphabet Inc. Read more about Google’s new hiring announcement on Yahoo! Finance.

Velodyne trades out high-end audio systems for Lidar, autonomous vehicles

Velodyne, a California-based company most widely known for its high-end audio systems, is now getting into the autonomous vehicle business. With $150 million in financial backing from both Ford Motors and Chinese search engine giant Baidu, Velodyne is moving full speed ahead with its Lidar systems. With a presence on three continents, Velodyne is  now regularly mentioned in research reports that cite leading companies in the niche field of Lidar. In addition to cars, the systems also have growing potential for agricultural equipment, mining vehicles and military vehicles. Read more about Velodyne’s new partnerships on USA Today.

Image: Autonomous mini-bus under development in Russia, courtesy of NAMI.

Daimler Moving on Mobility with MyTaxi, Moovel

Burney Simpson

Daimler used its Moovel subsidiary in July to continue its aggressive approach to new mobility with investments in Europe and hiring in the U.S. The two actions suggest Daimler won’t stop moving on its ridesharing and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) offerings.

The auto OEM bought 60 percent of Hailo, a ridesharing firm with a checkered past that has a strong presence in the United Kingdom, TechCrunch reports.

Daimler then merged Hailo with MyTaxi, a ridesharing app owned by its subsidiary Moovel. The merged firm will be known as MyTaxi and headquartered in Hamburg.

Connected-Car2The new MyTaxi claims 100,000 registered drivers serving 70 million customers in 50 cities across nine countries in Europe, making it one of the leading ridesharing firms on the Continent.

MyTaxi will be led by Andrew Pinnington, the current CEO of Hailo. Daimler named Niclaus Mewes, the founder of MyTaxi’s parent, a managing director of Daimler Mobility Services.

Terms of the deal weren’t released though Pinnington told Reuters that under the all-share deal Daimler will own 60 percent of MyTaxi, while Hailo stakeholders will hold 40 percent.

Hailo had been strong in the U.K. and Ireland while MyTaxi has operations in Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Hailo closed down its U.S. operations in 2014 while facing tough competition from Uber and Lyft.

Auto OEMs are moving on ridesharing firms this year with GM investing $500 million in Lyft and Volkswagen putting $300 million into Gett.

URBAN MOBILITY PRODUCTS

Meanwhile in the U.S., Moovel North America spirited Matt Jones away from Jaguar Land Rover and named him its chief product officer. He will work out of Moovel NA’s Portland, Ore., headquarters.

Jones will oversee Moovel NA’s “urban mobility products,” according to a press release. While it wasn’t clear from the release what that meant, it suggested that Jones will work to create an integrated transportation service that consumers can control with their smartphones.

These services may range from public and private transit to car-sharing, ride sharing, bike sharing, and other transportation offerings. Consumers will use their phones to access, research, schedule, pay for, and keep track of the services. These MaaS products may be offered on a subscription or an as-needed basis.

At Jaguar Jones oversaw global efforts to develop and implement in-dash and mobile apps for vehicle routing, information and entertainment systems.

Daimler created Moovel North America in April by combining two of its purchases — GlobeSherpa and RideScout.

C2go2GlobeSherpa is a mobile booking and ticketing service for public transit agencies, while RideScout brought the transportation app. (See “Daimler Gets Moovel-ing on Mobility as a Service”).

Moovel NA began beta-testing in Portland this spring an app that combined transit ticketing with the ability to call a Lyft vehicle or a Car2go, another Daimler subsidiary.

Car2go is a car-sharing service where consumers use an app to reserve and then drive its two-passenger vehicles. Car2go’s 1.3 million registered members can rent the vehicles by the minute, hour, or day. According to its website Car2go operates in 28 cities in nine countries.

Mobility As A Service in the US – Who’s the Bank?

Burney Simpson

The time seems right for Mobility as a Service (MAAS). Travelers are looking to cut costs, congestion, and the bother of owning a vehicle. And autonomous technology and driverless vehicles could bring costs down so MAAS would be affordable for the masses.

A successful MAAS program will need a mix of transportation providers like public transit, privately-held firms like Uber and Lyft, shuttle and bus services, bike share programs, traditional taxi firms, car-share outfits like car2go, and others depending on the metro area.

But any MAAS project will also need three behind-the-scenes providers to grease the wheels.

Those are an app creator, a data analyzer, and a bank, said Tim Papandreou, director, Office of Innovation, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

“You need an entity that can create and maintain the app, (and an entity) to gather and analyze the data so transportation options are continually updated and improved, to meet customer needs and offer incentives,” said Papandreou. “Third, (there’s the entity) that will act as a payment facilitator. It will send money to the transportation provider.”

A single payments firm is essential, said transportation consultant Carol Schweiger.

“You pay one entity for all these services or else the concept won’t work. You can’t have users paying multiple providers,” said Schweiger, president of Schweiger Consulting.

Schweiger refers to a MAAS scheme where the traveler pays a monthly subscription fee to a service, covering her daily commute and a certain number of weekend and evening trips. That service is responsible for divvying up the funds to the transport providers.

LOGICAL PROVIDERS

MAAS is evolving but generally refers to a subscription-based, phone-app accessible mix of transportation options providing door-to-door service.

moovel-transit2Schedules and fees of the transportation providers will have to be online, integrated and continuously updated. That goes for weather and road condition information. The service is operated real-time, so a subscriber can preplan a journey, or find, pay for, and jump on the best option on the fly.

For now, there appear to be firms ready to step into the first two roles that Papandreou describes.

One ride search provider is the moovel app launched by Daimler this spring in Portland, Ore. It offers smartphone searching and the ability to make payments to multiple providers. But moovel is pay-as-you-go, there’s no monthly subscription service, says a spokesperson.

Second, data gathering and analysis is becoming core to intelligent transportation systems (ITS) with multinational giants like Siemens, Microsoft, IBM and others exploring the sector.

What’s missing is three, the bank.

Ford and GM are logical providers of this service though neither has expressed interest publicly in becoming a MAAS bank.

A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

Papandreou says the auto OEMs are still getting their heads around the idea of integrated mobility, so throwing in the concept of banking may be a bridge too far.

But it isn’t far-fetched.

Each has a financial arm with deep pockets.

The Ford Motor Credit Corp. provides loans through its Lincoln Automotive Service Corp. in the U.S., Canada and China. Net income for Ford Motor Credit tallied $1.4 billion in 2015, with managed receivables of $127 billion. Put simply, receivables measure the amount customers owe on loans.

GM subsidiary General Motors Financial reported net income of $646 million and total assets of $66 billion last year.

And there’s the possibility that fewer consumers will be buying cars if MAAS-style systems take hold.

“GM has to find new ways to make money if they don’t sell as many cars,” said Schweiger.

One way to do that could be to finance the system and earn income from payment processing.

“There are billions of transactions every day, this is a tremendous opportunity,” said Papandreou.

For now, the two big American auto OEMs don’t appear to be interested. GM is focused on expanding Lyft, in part with driverless vehicles it develops with Cruise Automation.

Ford’s new FordPass seeks to connect with customers through their smartphones. Millennials can do cool stuff like reserve a parking space and start their car.

But the payment angle is a work in progress. A customer earns rewards by purchasing Ford services, and the rewards can be redeemed at a Boomer brand like McDonald’s. A Ford spokesperson says FordPass is evolving, and changes will be coming.

Mobility As A Service is evolving too, and there will be different approaches in different cities. MAAS banking is a move away from an auto OEM’s core skill set but financing such a system could be quite rewarding.

Story photo – Piggy by Pictures of Money, 2014.

Daimler Gets Moovel-ing on Mobility As A Service

Burney Simpson

Daimler launched a Mobility as a Service (MAAS) firm in North America called moovel, with promises to offer a choice of transportation options at the push of a smartphone app button.

Moovel is designed to link riders with providers of public transportation, car-sharing, ridesharing, bike sharing, and other forms of transportation.  

Moovel was launched as a pay-as-you-go service, with consumers having the ability to use their smartphone as a payment device for trips.

The concept of MAAS is evolving. In general it refers to a subscription-based, phone app-accessible mix of transportation options for users. The mix can include public transit, privately-held firms like Uber and Lyft, bike share programs, traditional taxi firms, and car-share firms like car2go.

Major auto OEMs are investing in MAAS-style services following the growth of non-traditional transportation offerings, especially among younger consumers.

Daimler operates car2go in about 30 cities in Europe and North America. Rival BMW announced this month it had begun operating its ReachNow car-sharing service in Seattle, and would possibly expand it to nine more cities (See “Siren of Mobility Entices BMW, Jaguar, Peugeot”).

MOBILE TICKETS AND PAYMENTS

Daimler said its launch of moovel is in response to the growth of urban populations worldwide, and to the rise in rides on public transportation. In 2014 there were nearly 11 billion public transportation rides, the highest ever, says Daimler.

For riders, moovel will offer mobile ticketing and payments for public transit agencies. For transit agencies, moovel helps them integrate with ”last mile/first mile options like bike share and on-demand car services,” according to Daimler.

The creation of moovel comes from Daimler’s 2014 purchase of transportation app provider RideScout. Last June, RideScout bought GlobeSherpa, a mobile book and ticketing service for public transit.

Moovel inherits from its two parents a number of agreements with public transit agencies in major metropolitan areas.

For example, in the Chicago area moovel has a relationships with the Chicago Transit Authority, the suburban PACE bus service and the metro-wide Metra train service.

In California, moovel has deals with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System and the North County Transit District.

Plans call for moovel to eventually offer Ridetap, a software development kit or SDK, that app developers can build on to assist users get to their final destination.

RideTap is currently operating only in a private beta mode in Portland, Ore. A program there allows users to request a Lyft ride, or reserve a car2go. Moovel says RideTap will be launched more widely later this year.

In Germany the moovel app offers access to car2go, the car-sharing firm Flinkster, the taxi booking and payments app mytaxi, the German railway company Deutsche Bahn, and public transportation, says Daimler.

Nat Parker, co-founder and former CEO of GlobeSherpa, is now CEO of moovel NA. Joseph Kopser, co-founder and former CEO of RideScout, is now president of moovel Group GmbH.

Truck Platooning Barreling Ahead

Editor’s note: This is another in Driverless Transportation’s series of Q&As with leaders in the automated, autonomous and connected vehicle industry.

RBishopWhen it comes to connected and automated vehicles, Richard Bishop’s job is to, as he puts it, “know what’s going on, who’s doing it, and identify significant and emerging trends.” He specializes in the domain of intelligent, connected, and automated vehicles and how these interact with the roadway and transportation system, plus larger societal forces. He provides global trends analysis and research strategy development to a wide range of vehicle manufacturers, technology developers, and government agencies around the world.

He currently supports USDOT’s involvement in the Tri-Lateral Working Group on Road Vehicle Automation and also serves as chair of the American Trucking Association’s Task Force on Automated Driving and Platooning. Prior to establishing Bishop Consulting in 1997, Mr. Bishop was program manager for Vehicle-Highway Automation at the USDOT Federal Highway Administration.

You are in the thick of tests and research being conducted on truck platooning. Could you give us an overview of this?

Live tests have occurred in Texas and Nevada because they have favorable regulatory environments for truck platooning. Many other states do as well, and regulations are being adjusted in several other states as we speak. Florida just enacted new legislation calling for a truck platooning study and pilot test.

Testing has occurred in Germany with three truck platoons and Level 3 automation. In early April, several truck platoons converged on Rotterdam as part of the EU Platooning Challenge, meant to galvanize national regulators into clearing the way for platooning to gain efficiency and sustainability benefits. I expect the USA will see commercial availability of platooning as soon as next year.

Is Europe ahead of the US in platooning?

Europe is coming from a different angle. It can’t be said they’re ahead or behind. Europe-based OEMs are very advanced in platooning and they serve global markets. Regulators are coming along in terms of adjusting road rules from a prior era. I’d say the regulatory environment in the U.S. is better at this point, and the market need in the U.S. is stronger given the extremely long hauls. The EU Platooning Challenge has gained the attention of regulators in the U.S. as well. All these activities mutually support each other.

You are the chairman of the Automated Driving and Platooning Task Force of the American Trucking Associations (ATA). What are its major goals?

The objectives of the Task Force are pasted below this Q&A. The group has developed initial documents to educate users and guide technology developers, with emphasis on truck platooning since it is near-term. Visit here for more detail: TMC IR 2015-2, Automated Driving & Platooning: Issues & Opportunities; and here for a pdf on recommendations going forward: TMC Future Truck Position Paper 2015-03: Recommendations Regarding Automated Driving and Platooning Systems.

To my knowledge these are the only documents published to date that provide the “voice of the user” in truck automation. We see these as living documents which will be updated. Our current focus is to develop “Guiding Principles” for truck automation, which will be a concise set of statements as to key points.

You have also taken part in Auburn University’s test looking at the commercial feasibility of platooning. What did the school find?

The Federal Highway Administration, under its Exploratory Advanced Research program, funded this project to prototype, evaluate, and test Driver Assistive Truck Platooning (DATP), due to its potential to have significant positive safety and fuel savings benefits for heavy truck operations in long haul freight movement. The project is led by Auburn; other partners are Peloton Technology, Peterbilt Trucks, Meritor WABCO, and the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), a research organization within the American Trucking Associations Federation.

“I expect the USA will see commercial availability of platooning as soon as next year.”

We have addressed traffic impacts, platoon formation, and conducted formal fuel economy testing. Stakeholder outreach has played a vital role, working with the ATA Technology and Maintenance Council Task Force on Automated Driving and Platooning. Visit this link to see the results of Phase I of the Auburn work.

Phase II will be completed this year.

There’s been some pushback on platooning. First, some truck drivers are concerned its adoption will mean fewer drivers are needed. What do you think?

There is a misconception that platooning leaves no role for the driver. This is completely wrong. First generation platooning, in terms of driver role, is the same as current Adaptive Cruise Control — brakes/throttle are automated, and the driver steers. I recently wrote a letter to the editor of Transport Topics that explains this in detail.

mercedesplatoon2Second, some consumers are wary that big rigs will bunch up, block entrance/exit lanes, and take over the roads. Are those fears legitimate?

No. Initial platooning systems will be two or three trucks. I don’t see two-truck platooning impeding anything and probably won’t even be noticed by car drivers. Three trucks might create a problem, but I see two-truck platoons being deployed first and we’ll learn from that. Remember, we are talking gaps between vehicles of 50-100 feet. This is close but not head-turning close.

Further, the gaps are dynamic and will adjust based on conditions. This could include opening up the gaps in urban areas where there are frequent entry/exits. The prime application scenario for platooning is long runs with few interchanges. In the early years we may see trucks de-couple completely when entering dense urban freeway areas and re-coupling when leaving.

Do you think driverless applications will become adopted in the commercial sector before the consumer sector?

No, it’s already happening in the consumer sector, via Tesla, the Mercedes E Class, etc. Plus, the “robo-taxi” scene is heating up fast; this is where true “driverless” will occur. The market forces are different for trucks but the applications coming on cars will eventually appear on trucks.

You are helping to plan the AUVSI/TRB Automated Vehicles Symposium in San Francisco this year. Why should someone attend the conference?

The Automated Vehicles Symposium is the largest and most significant conference worldwide focused specifically on automated vehicles. AVS uniquely brings together government, industry, and academia in a setting which includes both plenary presentations and break-out sessions, so that the larger AV community can meet and hear from one another. We are expecting over 1000 attendees this year.

Could you talk a little about the Workshop on Automated Vehicles Policy and Regulations: A State Perspective (ADD LINK) at the University of Maryland in May. Why?  

Addressing AV policy and regulation is key to the deployment of AV’s, whether it be passenger cars, trucks, and/or robo-taxi’s. I’m very involved in all three areas and am happy to offer my perspective and share knowledge, joining my colleagues in advancing the dialogue in these domains. The issues in some cases are quite different for each of these areas.

Thanks Richard.

Objectives of the ATA’s Automated Driving and Platooning Task Force

The Automated Driving and Platooning Task Force is within the Future Truck Program of the American Truck Association’s Technology and Maintenance Council. The objectives of this task force are:

  1. create  awareness within TMC of all relevant activities to develop partially automated and fully automated driving systems for heavy trucks, including industry and publicly sponsored R&D, as well as relevant regulatory activity at the state and Federal levels
  2. create an operational understanding of how partially and fully automated driving would be applied to heavy truck operations, considering drivers, maintenance, safety managers, fleet managers, regulators
  3. define key terms relevant to automated driving so as to create mutual understanding and avoid confusion
  4. identify the opportunities, new applications, key requirements, and areas of concern in the evolution of automated driving technologies.  Identify technology demonstrations the carriers would like to
  5. develop a white paper, to include recommended actions that might be taken by industry and regulators
  6. liaise as needed to other TMC task forces, such as the S.12 DSRC Task Force
  7. develop technical policy guidance for the Technical Advisory Group, ATA Engineering department and ATA Technology and Engineering Policy committee.

 

Daimler Trucks Videos Promote Platooning

Burney Simpson

Germany-based Daimler Trucks has posted on You Tube a series of new videos promoting its Highway Pilot Connect system, with three freight trucks platooning and running on the autobahn near Dusseldorf.

Each of the four short videos rely on the visuals to make their point, so viewers don’t have to speak German or English to get a sense of connected vehicle communications.

There are shots of the dashboard showing the Connect system on, the three trucks running in tandem, the drivers taking their hands off the wheel as the truck operates autonomously, and the trucks stopping simultaneously.

(The visuals beg the question – can the drivers in the two follow-on trucks do something besides sip their coffee and put their feet up once they are in connected mode?)

One video presents the concept of platooning, while the others highlight how the trucks handle a specific road event – a lane change, a cut-in vehicle, and an emergency braking.

Daimler says the trucks can run 15 meters apart, reducing aerodynamic drag.

Nevada last year gave Daimler the OK to operate two of its Freightliner trucks on its roads.

Here are the three highlight videos– Lane Change;

Cut-in Vehicle;

Emergency Braking.

 

Truck Platoons Go Cross Border in Europe

Burney Simpson

Truck platooning will soon go live in Europe in a cross border event organized by the Netherlands as it works to promote smart mobility.

The EU Truck Platooning Challenge will include seven platoons of trucks operating live on major European highways. The routes haven’t been released.

The trucks will be provided by six European truck manufacturers — DAF (Paccar), Daimler, Iveco, MAN, Scania, and Volvo.

The trucks will start on March 31 from various European countries and are scheduled to arrive in the Port of Rotterdam on April 6. The finish coincides with the Intertraffic trade fair running April 5-8 in Amsterdam.

Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden are taking part in the Challenge.

Platooning has been tested on private courses in Europe but there’s been no live cross border operations of this scope previously. Mercedes drew media coverage last year for testing truck platooning in Arizona in the U.S.

Platooning is a form of Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) connected technology. A convoy of platooning trucks are connected through Wi-Fi, GPS, radar and other systems. The trucks move in sync, with the lead truck having some control over the acceleration and braking of the following truck(s).

Platooning improves aerodynamics, and tests have shown it can reduce fuel costs by 5 to 10 percent.

This truck platooning video from Scania shows how the concept works.

Steve Phillips, secretary general of the Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR), said the Challenge has several benefits. It encourages national road authorities to allow platooning trucks to operate, it publicizes the concept of platooning, and it encourages collaboration between business and governments, Phillips writes.

The Challenge is an initiative of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of the EU President. The Dutch hold the office during the first six months of 2016. The Netherlands announced it would make smart mobility a central theme during its presidency.

Truck Slow Down Could Speed Truck Platooning

Burney Simpson

Some heavy-duty truck makers are seeing a slowdown in North American sales just as platooning systems are getting closer to being road-ready.

Volvo this month predicted a decline of 14 percent in truck sales in North America and Brazil, according to Reuters. Germany’s Daimler sees a drop of 10 percent for class 6-8 trucks, while U.S. Paccar believes there will be a 12 percent drop for class 8 trucks.

The news comes as the American Trucking Associations trade group holds its meeting in Nashville.

The bad news may be tempered by technology that could lower fuel costs for operators.

Just last fall the Utah Department of Transportation was testing the truck-to-truck communications system from Peloton Technology.

The system allows trucks to connect, or platoon together, when they are about 50 feet apart.

Running this close together leads to better aerodynamics, and that leads to reduced fuel costs of 10 percent for the rear truck, and nearly 5 percent for the lead truck, Peloton  reports.

The trucks travel safely due to direct communications that enable the rear truck to respond in kind as the front truck accelerates or brakes.

“We’ll have one truck driving ahead that is in complete control of the driving,” John Jacobs, a Peloton engineer, told the Desert News. “The rear vehicle uses a combination of sensors, including radar, high precision (global positioning satellites), a camera and two-way communications … to get a precise idea of the location of the front truck.”

Peloton also operates an operations center that monitors and shares local weather, vehicle, and traffic conditions with trucks participating in its system.

Peloton says a truck could save about $2,000 annually by using its system.

Peloton last month was named to the Global Cleantech 100 because of the promising impact of its technology. Peloton’s investors include Volvo, UPS, Denso, Intel, and Nokia.

MAJOR CHANGES COMING

The trucking industry sees major changes of this type on the horizon, according to a recent survey of company executives from Princeton Consulting, Trucking Info reports.

Princeton found that 28 percent of trucking leaders believe that autonomous trucks could have a medium or high impact on their industry in the next eight years.

This will happen in three phases, Princeton says.

First, the use of autopilot systems will expand in the heavy trucking. Second, platooning systems like that provided by Peloton will be operated on select highways. Eventually autonomous trucks will see widespread adoption on highways across the country.

Trucking executives also believe drones, a shift to Uber-style management by freight brokers, and greater use of data will all have major impacts on the industry, according to the survey.

Graphic by Linkoping Universitet.

Prediction: These 5 Companies Will Dominate the Driverless Industry, Bring Cars to Consumers

Jennifer van der Kleut

A new report by the firm Juniper Research declares the five companies they believe will dominate the driverless car industry, and bring the first driverless cars to consumers, reports Business Insider.

Though countless companies have declared they will have mass-market driverless cars on public roads sometime between 2019 to 2025, Juniper has announced the five they think will win the race.

The five companies are:

  1. Google
  2. Volvo
  3. Daimler
  4. Tesla
  5. Apple

We at Driverless Transportation track four of these five companies in our exclusive D20 Stock Index.

Some may be surprised to see Apple – the lone company on Juniper’s list that we don’t track on the D20 – anywhere on the list, considering the company has all but denied they are doing any work toward researching and developing autonomous car technology. Countless news outlets have been pointing to signs that Apple is working on it in secret, though, including reports that Apple executives met with California Department of Motor Vehicles officials earlier this year to discuss laws and regulations for driverless vehicles.

Juniper said it handed the number-one spot to Google due to the fact they have been testing driverless cars longer than any other company in the game, and continue to collect mountains of real-time data every day.

Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, made headlines earlier this year by driving an autonomous big-rig truck on a public highway. Daimler’s head of development has also publicly declared that the company will be the first to launch autonomous functions in production vehicles, “within this decade.”

Do you agree with Juniper’s predictions? Tell us in the comments.