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Another exit from the self-driving car moonshot race

Ford and VW, through their joint venture, have decided to end development of their shared Level 4 autonomous vehicle (AV) robo-taxis, at least for now. The organization, in which both companies own just under 40% of his shares, will be dissolved and the two companies will hire some of their key engineers and developers to work directly in the field of autonomous driving and his ADAS technology. Become.

It may come as a surprise that two of the world’s largest OEMs have apparently pulled out of the race to Level 4 shared AV. However, development costs are high and ongoing, as electrification of the model range is also soaking up cash. Lead times for profitable shared AV fleets are too long for these companies. Reaching Level 4 autonomous driving is a major technical challenge, but there are also major hurdles such as regulations, commercial models, (potential) user attitudes, local complexity diversity, and infrastructure.

Consolidation in this sector is always likely, and more consolidation is likely in the future. So far, the US shared AV landscape has been narrowed down to a few companies, with GM’s Cruise and Alphabet’s Waymo appearing to be more committed and leading the way. Many Chinese ventures may also start consolidating around a handful of tech companies such as Baidu.

A pilot program continues to roll out for a set of current leaders in this space. Further exits are to be seen, as indicated by an announcement on Argo AI’s website (dated Sept. 29) that robo-taxis will be available through his Lyft in Austin, Texas. such activity may continue until it is stopped.

At the recent GlobalData “Key Themes in Automotive” event, we discussed some of the difficulties in reaching the point where mass deployment of shared AV is possible. It’s not that his AV developer at Level 4 lacks confidence that he’ll eventually get there, it’s that it could take him over a decade to do so. Hundreds of representatives from across the automotive sector show a large arrival of shared AV fleets, mostly in his 2030s, with 40% suggesting his 2035 and beyond. , seem to be in general agreement.

The two approaches seem likely to continue. In one development path, companies like Waymo are striving to create Level 4 AV vehicles for shared vehicle use. OEMs (and their suppliers), on the other hand, are carefully developing ADAS technology to the SAE level, but for the vehicles they own. Some companies, such as GM, have treaded both camps for now, and both routes may eventually succeed. But we’ll have to wait until the 2030s to see the transformative potential that truly self-driving cars will bring. Another exit from the self-driving car moonshot race

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