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November 16, 2021updated 14 Mar 2022 10:48am

Revealed: The automotive companies leading the way in autonomous vehicles

General Motors and Ford are leaders in the field of AI and well positioned to benefit from technical advances, according to GlobalData's research.

By Nicu Calcea

GM and Ford are among the companies best positioned to take advantage of future autonomous vehicles disruption in the automotive industry, our analysis shows.

The assessment comes from GlobalData’s Thematic Research ecosystem, which ranks companies on a scale of one to five based on their likelihood to tackle challenges like autonomous vehicles and emerge as long-term winners of the automotive sector.

According to our analysis, GM, Ford, Baidu, Tesla, Intel, Alphabet, Nvidia, Didi Chuxing, Sierra Wireless, STMicroelectronics, Continental, Infineon, NXP, Aptiv and Veoneer are the companies best positioned to benefit from investments in autonomous vehicles, all of them recording scores of five out of five in GlobalData’s Future Mobility and Vehicle Manufacturing Thematic Scorecards.

GM, for example, has advertised for 1,183 new autonomous vehicles jobs from October 2020 to September 2021; has completed one deal related to autonomous vehicles with other companies; and mentioned autonomous vehicles in company filings 82 times.

Ford indicated good levels of AI investment, with the company looking for 20 new autonomous vehicles jobs since October 2020, completing three deals and mentioning autonomous vehicles in filings 130 times.

The table below shows how GlobalData analysts scored the biggest companies in the automotive industry on their autonomous vehicles performance, as well as the number of new autonomous vehicles jobs, deals, patents and mentions in company reports since October 2020.

Higher numbers usually indicate that a company has spent more time and resources on improving its autonomous vehicles performance, or that autonomous vehicles is at least at the top of executives’ minds. However, it may not always mean that it is doing better than the competition.

A high number of mentions of autonomous vehicles in quarterly company filings could indicate either that the company is reaping the rewards of previous investments, or that it needs to invest more to catch up with the rest of the industry. Similarly, a high number of deals could indicate that a company is dominating the market, or that it is using mergers and acquisitions to fill in gaps in its offering.

Nevertheless, these trends are useful in showing us the extent to which top executives in the automotive sector – and at specific organisations – think about autonomous vehicles, and the extent to which they stake their future on it.

This article is based on GlobalData research figures as of 10 November 2021. For more up-to-date figures, check the GlobalData website.

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