The Market for Autonomous Vehicles Revs Up

Despite the recent scrutiny surrounding autonomous vehicles, the technology seems to be picking up speed. After three months of testing on the streets of Pittsburgh, Uber has announced that its fleet of self-driving Volvo XC90s will go live later in August. Customers in downtown Pittsburgh will be able to summon a self-driving car, which, for now, will still be manned by an Uber driver who can intervene in the car’s operation if need be. And Volvo may soon have competition. Ford announced Aug. 16 that it intends to deploy its own fully autonomous vehicles for ride-booking – targeting Uber directly – by 2021. To support its plans, the company has doubled its Silicon Valley and Palo Alto teams and is investing in or collaborating with four startups specializing in light detection and ranging sensors, machine learning, machine vision and 3D mapping, respectively. In addition, traffic navigation app Waze – whose parent company, Alphabet’s Google, is perhaps the most advanced developer in autonomous car technology – unveiled its own plans earlier this year to join the ride-booking game. These announcements reveal how technology is changing the economy.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 08/19/2016.

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