Self-Driving Cars 2020 and beyond


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In 2020 we’ve seen self-driving cars taking a huge leap forward. It’s time to take a look at where the field is at the moment and what to expect. In October Waymo and Tesla were especially in the news but almost every other player has reminded us of their existence this year as well.

Introduction: Roads Ahead by MIT

New research from MIT “Autonomous Vehicles, Mobility, and Employment Policy: The Roads Ahead,” has indicated that visions of automation in mobility will not be fully realized in the next few years, rather it will take more than a decade. The transition will also not occur suddenly or in isolation. Initially, fully automated driving will be restricted to limited geographic regions and climates. Moreover, automation in cars will emerge within a web of relationships with electrification, connected vehicles, and evolving service models across vehicle types.

Here are some of the key findings from the report:

  • Widespread deployment of fully automated driving systems with no safety driver onboard will take at least a decade.
  • Winter climates and rural areas will experience longer transitions.
  • Expansion will likely be gradual and will happen region-by-region in specific categories of transportation, resulting in wide variations in availability across the country.
  • AV should be thought of as one element in a mobility mix, and as a potential feeder for public transit rather than a replacement for it.

In the race to launch fully autonomous vehicles on the road there are:

  1. Leaders;
  2. Contenders;
  3. Challengers; and
  4. Those companies I call “bubbling under”.


I’m going to curate the latest developments in 2020 from each category on Medium.


Erkka Niemi, PhD, CTO Unikie


Published 20th November in

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