All the Promises Automakers Have Made About the Future of Cars – The Atlantic

Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017

Like many other car companies, Daimler—the maker of Mercedes—sees an opportunity in moving their business toward ride-hailing with self-driving cars at the core of the operation. Daimler cut a deal with Uber in January to partner on self-driving cars. And in April, they announced another one with Bosch to deliver autonomous taxis to the road in 2021.

Also in April, the company announced that it was bringing up its electric vehicle rollout date from 2025 to 2022. That’s when Daimler expects to have 10 EVs in its lineup.


BMW has been something of a frontrunner in autonomous vehicle development. In 2016, the company committed to introducing a fully autonomous vehicle by 2021. In May of this year, BMW struck a deal with Intel and major automotive supplier Delphi to create an alliance to meet that goal, possibly with other car companies who might want to join in.

The company expects to sell 100,000 electric vehicles in 2017.


Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, has played it cool for the most part. In 2013, the company emphasized that humans must remain in control of vehicles. But in October 2015, Toyota promised that vehicles “with an autopilot switch” would be on the roads of Tokyo by 2020. (They’re working with chipmaker Nvidia.)

The company has had mainstream success with hybrid vehicles, but has not gone all-in on electrification like some of its competitors. In part, that’s because Toyota continues to push fuel-cell vehicles.

Toyota’s Concept-i car (Toyota).


Honda has promised to have fully autonomous cars on the road by 2025. Along the way, the company plans to have lower level self-driving features such as supercharged cruise control in cars by 2020. That’s several years behind its competitors. But hey: It’s no sure thing that the first-generation of autonomous vehicles are going to be a success.


Mazda might be the only true contrarian among the traditional automakers: They still want to make cars that you buy and drive. They are only interested in developing driver-assistance technology, their CEO said in April.


Japan’s smallest carmaker does not currently have a promise around self-driving cars — and is planning its first plug-in hybrid electric car next year.


Tata Motors, India’s largest carmaker, has asked Indian authorities to test an autonomous vehicle, but many people are skeptical that self-driving cars will work well on India’s chaotic roads.


We don’t know much about China’s largest car maker’s self-driving car plans, aside from a partnership with U.S. sensor maker Savari. The company maintains a research center in Silicon Valley and recently received a permit to test its vehicles on California roads.


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