Which Companies Will Have Self-Driving Cars on the Road in the Next Years?

It’s no secret that more and more vehicle manufacturers are willing to invest in self-driving cars. Although there are safety issues concerning the automatic pilot, major brands are investing a lot of resources into making sure that they can be the first to develop and further improve this innovative technology.

It seems that 2020 will be the year of the self-driving cars. Tesla, Apple and Google have made announcements about their samples, which they say will revolutionize the automotive industry. Here are 7 other prototypes that are scheduled to be released to the general public in the next decade.


Toyota relied on the idea “better late than never”. The brand is planning to have an autonomous Lexus ready for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The Lexus GS450h will be able to navigate roads, merge lanes and overtake other vehicles.

The brand also announced its intention to invest over $50 million to implement artificial intelligence into their vehicles.


The brand intends to release its first self-driving car by 2020. A fair timeline given the fact that the tech team assigned to design the new autonomous system wasn’t assembled until June this year.

“Our approach is we may or may not come out with a [fully autonomous] vehicle in that time frame because our approach is when we do, we want to make sure that it is accessible for everyone and not just let’s say luxury [car] customers,” Ford CEO Mark Field stated for Forbes in February.

General Motors

Although the company did not specifically tell us about an autonomous vehicle project at the time, plans for the future are made. GM stated on their website that “we expect semi-autonomous vehicles to be available to customers before the end of this decade and the technology for fully autonomous vehicles capable of navigating the roadways ready during the next decade.”

But before a fully automated GM car will be on the market, the company intends to launch a Cadillac CTS with semi-autonomous functions in 2017.


Daimler committed to this plan when the Mercedes-Benz S 500 Intelligent Drive made a 100 kilometer (62 mile) autonomous journey in 2013.

Furthermore, the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion prototype has the core of screens and seats facing the center of the car. This is how plenty of people imagined the car of the future will look like. The concept vehicle will be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show between the 6th and 9th of January in 2016.


The Audi A7 drove 550 miles by itself this year, but there’s no timeline for it being released to the general public. Although a date hasn’t been set yet, Audi is not a company to be ignored.

Keep in mind that the brand was the first one to be allowed to even think about the possibility of manufacturing an autonomous car, being given the permit in 2012 in Nevada, followed by the 2014 permit in California.


Nissan promised that it will present its first self-driving cars by the end of the decade.

This seems highly plausible given the fact that Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe already test drove a self-driving Nissan on the streets of Tokyo.

According to their website, the autonomous car will feature settings that will automatically make the car change lanes, overtake other cars and exit off the highway.

For this project, the brand hired automotive technology researchers from Oxford, Stanford, the University of Tokyo and MIT. They were given just one mission: To make driverless vehicles a reality.


Reports appeared recently which stated that Baidu teamed up with BMW to release self-driving cars by the end of 2015. Despite this timeline, BMW reminded the general audience that the technology won’t be fully implemented in their cars until 2020.

Until then, we have the i3, which is already able to park itself and find its way back to its owner, to look forward to.

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Philipp Kandal