The Information’s Leaders and Laggards in Self-Driving Cars

The race to produce millions of cars that can drive themselves in almost all situations is getting more intense, and more perplexing, by the week. Integrating autonomous vehicles into regular city traffic might be many years away, but even at this early stage, some companies are further along than others. Indeed, the past year has proven that the race isn’t as tight as it looks. 

The Information surveyed the entire field—17 major self-driving programs—to determine which will be first to deploy fully autonomous vehicles at scale in urban cities. We interviewed executives at legacy automakers, Bay Area challengers and startups to develop a detailed ranking of which companies are leading the field and which are lagging behind. (Scroll down for the list.)

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The Uber of China has a relatively new program and is hiring. It did hire Charlie Miller, a noted security engineer, from Uber’s self-driving program, and at least one engineer from Waymo who specialized in object detection. Didi has some of the same potential advantages as Uber in terms of the ability to test, deploy and manage cars, not to mention making money from them via its core ride-sharing business.

This article has been updated with another detail about the Google-Ford talks.

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