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Tesla has long been regarded as a technology leader in the field of self-driving cars. But according to a new report ranking all auto manufacturers according to technology positioning, Tesla is ranked dead last among the 19 companies in this year’s survey.

Each year, Navigant Research evaluates all the companies involved in developing self-driving cars and ranks them according to their performance and marketing strategy.

Two auto giants and Google’s image division take the three leadership positions in the autonomous race. This, according to the 2018s analysis of 19 businesses involved in the development and implementation of self-driving technologies in the automotive industry.

The report compiled by Navigant Research has focused on ten different criteria, and the results are somewhat surprising. Since among the 19 companies listed, Tesla comes at the last place.

The first place goes to General Motors, they have come the furthest when it comes to both strategy and implementation according to the report.

“2017 saw a continuing acceleration of the pace of development in the automated driving sector, as many of the companies involved have shifted from a R&D stance to production engineering. With concerns about driver distraction mounting, automated driving is increasingly seen by many as the best solution to eliminating this dangerous trend on the world’s roadways. The number of automated ride-hailing pilot programs has also increased since it has become increasingly clear that mobility as a service will be the primary means of deploying automated vehicles, particularly in the early years of commercialization.”

– The report says.

GM revealed their self-driving car now in early January and have said that if only they get permission, the company will have thousands of self-driving cars out on the roads, in complex environments, in 2019 already.

Following GM, is Waymo, Alfabet’s (Google) image division, and the German consortium Daimler-Bosch.

The report describes Tesla’s Autopilot technology as falling behind – stagnated and even regressed since it was first launched in 2015. The report connects the later with the cooperation between the car manufacturer and Mobileye, that ended in 2016. However, after a notable fatal accident, the companies went separate ways, and it has not been good for Tesla’s technology development.

“Tesla gets high points for its vision, but they have not demonstrated the ability to make that vision consistent,”

– Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Navigant Research, in a commentary on the report.

In the report, Navigant writes that more than a year after launching V2, Autopilot still has some of the functionality of the original, and there are many reports from owners who report unpredictable behavior. The Bloomberg news agency has also reported this. One problem noted by the analyst is that Tesla chose to go its own technical route and it may have been a mistake to exclude members.

The analysis agency has divided the companies into four segments: Leaders, Challengers, Bubbles, and Followers. All of the 19 companies that the report focuses on end up in the first three categories. For Tesla, who was once considered to be leading, the position is one of the foremost, a real cold shower.


Top ten:

1. GM
2. Waymo
3. Daimler-Bosch
4. Ford
5. Volkswagen Group
6. BMW-Intel-FCA
7. Aptiv
8. Renault-Nissan Alliance
9. Volvo-Autoliv-Ericsson-Zenuity
10. PSA


With the report ranking Apple, Waymo and Uber, which don’t have car manufacturing experience, higher than Tesla. But also giving high scores for GM, Daimler, Ford, and Volkswagen. All of which are very much traditional car companies.

It remains to be seen if the challengers to the top position will make or break it in the coming years. Tesla’s recent experience with Model 3 production makes clear that it is one thing for a tech company to come up with a killer app but quite another to put keep a leading position.