In March Navigant Research released its annual Leaderboard: Automated Driving Vehicles, an assessment of strategy and execution for 20 companies developing automated driving systems. The analyst firm said that 2018 proved to be a year of both advancement and setbacks on the road to commercialization of passenger vehicle automated driving systems. It said that several companies now provide some form of revenue-generating automated mobility services, and more are expected to debut in 2019.
However, 2018 also saw the first fatal accident with a developmental automated vehicle, with Uber in Arizona. As of the end of 2018, all automated driving “vendors” have one thing in common—none is providing commercial services without a human safety operator onboard the vehicle when carrying passengers. As work has progressed in validating automated driving technology, key obstacles include predicting other road-user behavior and function during poor weather. Companies developing suitable business models in conjunction with the core technology remain most likely to succeed in commercializing applications.