28 Self-Driving Car Companies You Should Know

Fully autonomous vehicles could be in our future. These companies are paving the way.

Written by Sunny Betz
28 Self-Driving Car Companies You Should Know
Image: Shutterstock
Matthew Urwin | Mar 11, 2024

Once considered a science fiction daydream, self-driving cars are inching toward taking the streets of cities across the globe. Built with the most powerful 3D imaging and AI out there, autonomous vehicle developers aim to ensure that riders enjoy a hands-free experience without compromising on personal safety.

Self-Driving Car Companies

  • Waymo
  • Cruise
  • Tesla
  • Zoox
  • Pony.AI 
  • Aurora
  • AutoX
  • General Motors
  • Nuro 
  • May Mobility

While their technologies haven’t been universally adopted yet, self-driving car companies have high ambitions. As many as 3.5 million vehicles with varying levels of autonomy could hit U.S. roads by 2025, and this number could reach 4.5 million by 2030. 

These 28 self-driving car companies are ushering in the next generation of travel.

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Self-Driving Car and Autonomous Vehicle Companies to Know

Location: Mountain View, California

Waymo builds self-driving vehicles and now offers its ride-hailing service Waymo One in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Austin. What began as a research project conducted by Google, Waymo uses custom mapping technology and real-time sensor data to navigate safely around pedestrians, traffic signs and other vehicles.


Location: San Francisco, California

Cruise is a driverless rideshare company. The company’s self-driving cars use a data visualization tool called Web Viz to allow cars to track objects around them and record test drives. In 2022, Cruise began offering commercial rides to the public in San Francisco, but paused operations after an October 2023 accident led California’s DMV to revoke the company’s license to operate in the state.


Location: Palo Alto, California

Tesla’s Autopilot AI software uses a deep learning neural network to provide automatic steering and smart parking. The software is assisted by advanced cameras and sensors that can see up to a distance of 250 meters. Although Tesla is continuing to work on making fully autonomous cars, they expect to develop cars capable of both short- and long-distance driving with no action required by people.


Location: Foster City, California 

Zoox is staking its claim in both the autonomous vehicle market and on-demand mobility by building vehicles that can drive on both city streets and freeways while maintaining the safety of their passengers. The company’s mission is to create a fleet of independently operating cars that can serve cities as an on-demand transportation option. Zoox conducted its first run of its robotaxi in California in 2023.


Location: Fremont, California

Pony.AI uses a combination of deep and machine learning for its autonomous driving planning and control software. Its hardware uses lidar and radar sensors to determine the speed and location of other vehicles on the road. In 2022, the company received permits to operate its robotaxi services in Beijing, and it’s now looking to expand its presence in South Korea and Saudi Arabia.


Location: Mountain View, California

Aurora’s Aurora Driver software can adapt to a variety of vehicles to allow for autonomous driving. The platform is powered by sensors that can see 360 degrees and software that maps safe routes as well as hardware that integrates these features into a vehicle. The company’s Aurora Horizon service, which is still in development, would potentially provide lower costs and better fuel efficiency for the trucking industry.


Location: San Jose, California

AutoX is building an autonomous transportation system for moving people and goods across the most challenging roads in China. The company’s self-driving platform is capable of operating vehicles of multiple sizes and is currently operating in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Silicon Valley.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan

General Motors makes cars, trucks and other passenger vehicles across price points, and it is also hard at work developing new automotive technology for self-driving cars. In addition to working on advanced driver assistance systems, GM is also a majority owner of autonomous car company Cruise. The Cruise Origin, an all-electric, self-driving vehicle, was set to be built at GM’s advanced Factory ZERO assembly plant, but production has been indefinitely delayed.


Location: Mountain View, California

Nuro creates self-driving vehicles that can perform delivery services. The vehicles are powered by the Nuro Driver software, which leverages AI and machine learning to learn from data, prioritize safety and adapt to a range of scenarios. So far, Nuro has deployed its vehicles in California and Texas, and it features partnerships with brands like FedEx, Uber, Kroger, Domino’s, 7-Eleven and Walmart.


Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

May Mobility develops autonomous driving technology with the goal of contributing to a “safer, greener, more accessible world.” The company has successfully launched several deployments of its services, including at the University of Texas at Arlington, where the technology helps students travel around campus and downtown. May Mobility’s technology employs a drive-by-wire system that can be integrated into most platforms.


Location: Santa Monica, California

Motional is building autonomous vehicles that use lidar and over 30 camera and radar sensors to ensure 360-degree visibility and object detection. The company’s vehicles also employ machine learning and a cloud-based infrastructure to collect and monitor driving data. Motional has teamed with top rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft to make driverless taxiing and delivery a reality.


Location: Palo Alto, California

Nauto leverages the power of AI to develop their own driverless cars and provide other companies in the industry with technologies, like an AI dash cam, to optimize vehicles. The company offers a fleet safety platform, driver behavior tracking alerts, built-in incident reporting and predictive collision alerting systems — all powered by predictive AI.


Location: Santa Clara, California

NVIDIA’s portfolio encompasses a range of technologies, including solutions for autonomous vehicles. The company’s NVIDIA DRIVE platform makes it easier to train AI systems on large volumes of data and gives self-driving cars the ability to process sensor data and respond accordingly in real-life situations. NVIDIA also offers a platform for developing autonomous vehicles and an AI assistant to further support self-driving cars.


Location: San Francisco, California

Embark Trucks has a vision for the logistics industry: dispatch fleets of driverless trucks and shipping vehicles without needing to worry about their safety on the road. The company’s Embark Driver uses a custom mapping and sensor software called Vision Map Fusion to analyze and respond to perception data in real time.


Location: San Jose, California 

WeRide boasts a slate of self-driving vehicles that include robotaxis, robobuses, robovans and robosweepers. Each vehicle runs on the WeRide One platform, which relies on deep learning models to give its algorithms self-learning abilities. The platform’s algorithms can also accurately track vehicles’ surroundings based on sensor data and plan out routes in difficult situations, leading to safer driving in urban environments.


Location: San Francisco, California 

Uber is known for its ride-hailing and ridesharing services, but the company has also stepped into the self-driving vehicle realm. In 2017, Uber teamed up with Toyota to explore self-driving car technology and has since launched self-driving taxis in select cities. The company has further explored autonomous vehicle options by forming additional partnerships with companies like Waymo, Aurora and Nuro.


Location: Fully Remote

Toyota has subsidiaries like Woven Planet that are focused on building self-driving cars. Woven Planet’s Arene software system uses machine learning, computer vision and datasets for prediction and perception to develop and test self-driving car systems. This research has culminated in the Teammate system — a driver assistance system that aids drivers under various conditions and enhances safety in Toyota and Lexus vehicles.


Location: Arlington, Virginia

Cavnue makes tech for connected roads. One of its projects is the Michigan Project, a collaboration with the Michigan Department of Transportation to develop a corridor for connected, automated vehicles on a section of I-94. The project is meant to establish feasibility, with the goal of developing other sites for future tech like connected and automated vehicles.


Location: Troy, Michigan

Magna International offers its ADAS sensor technology that can be adapted to any vehicle without changing the design of the car. It’s able to achieve seamless integration by putting cameras, radar, lidar and ultrasonic sensors in locations like vehicle bumpers. According to a press release, Magna is piloting an electric, self-driving delivery service.


Location: Fully Remote

Founded by Allstate, Arity uses its big data capabilities to identify traffic patterns for predicting and reducing risk in the transportation industry. The platform uses the data it collects to advise insurance, shared mobility and automotive companies on the best risk reduction practices, a crucial component of the self-driving equation.


Location: Watertown, Massachusetts

WiTricity is developing wireless charging stations for cars, making it simpler for people to obtain and make use of electric vehicles. The company’s magnetic resonance technology allows users to simply park within a WiTricity-designated parking spot and begin charging immediately, paving the way for electronic, self-driving cars to be deployed more efficiently over wider distances.


Location: San Francisco, California 

Unity develops 3D technology and VR visualization tools to help companies make streamlined physical navigation accessible to both people and devices. The company works within the automotive industry to enhance operations with the help of 3D interfaces, with projects ranging from interactive VR that helps automotive makers test new tech before taking it on the road to machine learning training techniques that will allow self-driving cars to become more instinctual.

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Location: San Francisco, California

Ouster is a creator of 3D lidar sensor technology, which is used by automotive companies in the production of autonomous vehicles. The company’s sensors are also used by engineers who are moving the needle on robotics, mapping technology, car security systems and other technologies necessary for creating a more widespread self-driving future.


Location: San Francisco, California

Swift Navigation designs and builds precise positioning technologies for use in autonomous vehicles and other automotive use cases. Creating solutions for companies in transportation, agriculture, robotics and other industries, Swift Navigation aids in the development of driverless transit technology by providing GPS positioning products that are accurate and scalable.


Location: Redmond, Washington 

Lumotive’s primary focus is on developing lidar systems that driverless vehicles can use to accurately predict and respond to incidents on the road without external input. Their high-performance environmental scanning technology is integrated with beam steering systems so that AI perceptions can be communicated to vehicle infrastructures and adjust routes in real time.


Location: Columbia, Maryland

Reality AI crafts cloud-based environmental detection technologies, built to be flexibly integrated into pre-existing systems and platforms like vehicle systems. To aid lidar and radar systems that can’t ‘see’ around corners, the company has developed a sound recognition system. This technology can improve self-driving cars’ ability to detect emergency vehicles, pedestrians and other vehicles.


Location: Chicago, Illinois

HAAS Alert develops safety solutions for the automotive industry that can be integrated into self-driving cars and other vehicles. Their patented Safety Cloud software communicates road safety data between first responder vehicles and sends alerts to vehicles equipped with the software, helping first responders get to incidents on time without compromising safety.


Location: Boston, Massachusetts

NODAR creates 3D peripheral sensors for driverless vehicles that are built for long-distance perception and are integrated with self-calibrating software to help guide their vehicles to destinations in one piece. Taking inspiration from hammerhead sharks, NODAR designs its sensors to be widely set to increase the accuracy of autonomous vehicles’ long-distance vision and give them more time to adjust their routes as needed.


Frequently Asked Questions

Self-driving cars do not currently exist, but autonomous vehicles are in development, and some cars have self-driving features. Fully autonomous cars have yet to be released widely to the public.

No U.S. state grants autonomous vehicles to run unmonitored. While 21 states allow self-driving cars to be deployed and six states permit self-driving trucks, many of these states legally require a licensed human driver to be present in any autonomous vehicle.

  • Level zero (no automation)
  • Level one (driver assistance)
  • Level two (partial driving automation)
  • Level three (conditional driving automation)
  • Level four (high driving automation)
  • Level five (full driving automation)

Margo Steines and Da’Zhane Johnson contributed reporting to this story.

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