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Ford Tops Navigant Research’s Autonomous Strategy and Execution Leaderboard

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Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Development Vehicle

As the future of the automotive industry seems to hew increasingly closer to one where vehicles drive themselves, the question arises as to which automaker has the edge in terms of offering autonomous vehicle technology. According to Navigant Research, who released its Navigant Research Leaderboard Report: Automated Driving this month, the answer is none other than the Ford Motor Company.

Navigant analyzed the development of automated driving systems from 18 automotive companies and ranked them based on 10 factors: vision; go-to market strategy; partners; production strategy; technology; sales, marketing, and distribution; product capability; product quality and reliability; product portfolio; and staying power.

These criteria were used to address the questions of which of the 18 companies ranks highest in terms of strategy and execution, which are the current market leaders and the companies best poised to break away as the technology continues to develop, and which are “Leaders” as opposed to “Contenders” and “Challengers.”

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Ford’s execution and strategy, encompassing the acquisition of and investment in startups like Chariot and Argo AI and the continued development of LiDAR sensor technology as exemplified by its next-generation Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Development Vehicle, put it just ahead of General Motors and comfortably atop Renault-Nissan, Daimler, and Volkswagen.

“(Ford) made a lot of progress on the development of technologies and also on a lot of the associated components, including investments in the core products as well as business model innovation with the creation of mobility services,” Navigant Senior Research Analyst Sam Abuelsamid told @FordOnline. “Having control of both the technology as well as how the vehicles are deployed in the real world will be a key element in all of this.”

Navigant previously ranked Ford sixth among automakers in terms of autonomous strategy and development in 2015. This year’s report was expanded to include non-automaker entities including Waymo, Baidu, and Uber.

Ford plans to introduce an SAE Level 4-capable autonomous vehicle for commercial and mobility uses in 2021, followed by a mass-produced autonomous vehicle for consumers by 2025.

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News Source: Navigant Research