Jessica Powers | Feb 16, 2023

The automobile is arguably one of the most important inventions of the past two centuries. Aside from the implementation of safety features like airbags and seatbelts, there hadn’t been many radical or widespread adjustments made to their overall designs for a while. 

The industry has more than made up for that lapse in just the past couple of decades, introducing innovative designs such as electric engines, keyless ignition, connected vehicle systems and — perhaps most exciting of all — self- driving cars and autonomous vehicles.

Self-Driving Car Companies

  • Motional
  • Magna International
  • AutoX
  • Cruise
  • Waymo
  • Swift Navigation
  • Embark Trucks
  • Zoox
  • Nauto

Once considered a science fiction daydream, self-driving cars are now 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. 

While their technologies haven’t been universally adopted yet, self-driving car companies have high ambitions. It’s been forecasted that by 2040, there will be over 33 million driverless vehicles on the road. 

These 26 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

1. Motional

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, Via and Lyft to make driverless taxiing and delivery a reality.


2. Cruise

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.


3. Waymo

Location: Mountain View, California

Waymo builds self-driving vehicles, offering commuter vehicles and autonomous trucks for use in the personal and commercial spaces. 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. 


4. May Mobility

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

May Mobility develops autonomous driving technology with the goal of making transportation “safer, greener and more accessible.” 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.


5. Uber

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.


6. Magna International

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.


7. ABB

Location: Fully Remote

ABB produces a variety of technologies for self-driving cars, but they also produce products for other use cases including PLC automation, analytics measurement platforms, low voltage products and power electronics. ABB’s many areas of expertise include industrial automation, robotics, and electrification. The company’s global footprint is maintained from offices in Argentina, Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and beyond.


8. Arity

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.


9. Zoox

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.


10. Autox

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 and Beijing.

Video: Tech Vision


11. WiTricity

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.


12. Unity

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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13. TesLa

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 range in visibility distance from 50 to 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.


14. Aurora

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.


15. Ouster

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.


16. Swift Navigation

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.


17. Embark Trucks

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.


18. Toyota 

Location: Fully Remote

Toyota has subsidiaries like Woven Planet whose focus it is to build 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.

Further ReadingWhat's the Way Forward for Autonomous Driving?


19. Nauto

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.


20. CloudMade

CloudMade produces smart car software and SaaS fleet management software for both individual drivers and enterprises. Its software uses machine learning and data visualization and analysis to predict movements, optimize driving range, save fuel and inform route guidance. The software can also be used for communications between vehicles, environment prediction and connecting cars to mobile apps to manage settings from devices. The company hopes its predictive software can inform the self-driving car industry.


21. Lumotive

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.


22. SEEVA Technologies 

Location: Seattle, Washington

SEEVA’s team anticipates that, while lidar and 3D sensing technology might be optimized to respond effectively to environmental changes, there are still factors like temperature changes and other obstructions that can detract from their responsiveness. Its SEEVAtherm systems heat and clean perceptive hardware like windshields, headlamps, cameras and lidar sensors so that autonomous vehicles can maintain vision in any kind of weather.


23. Reality AI 

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. Reality AI’s innovations have been recognized for awards and accolades by tech institutions like Design News, Project Kairos and Best of Sensors.


24. HAAS Alert

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.


25. Nodar

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. While designed primarily for automotive use, NODAR's proprietary technology can also be implemented in the logistics industry, as well as agriculture, aerospace, construction and other sectors.


26. Pony.AI

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.

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