Research Outline

Autonomous Transportation


  • To understand how autonomous transportation is growing and being applied in the US and globally, including any new strategies, developments, and/or software.
  • To understand which countries are ahead of the United States in terms of developing autonomous vehicles.
  • Early Findings


    • Over the next 12 years, the number of autonomous vehicles used by civilians are expected to grow to 60 percent of the global market.
    • "Autonomous vehicles will make up 20 percent of the total vehicle market by 2030, and three out of four of them will be used as ground transportation."
    • There have been a number of failed experiments surrounding self-driving cars in recent years, such as crashes with autonomous cars built by both Uber and Tesla.
    • In the United States, legislation has struggled to keep up with the pace at which autonomous vehicles are advancing.


    • Alphabet Inc's company, Wymo, is leading the industry in developing self-driving cars, followed by General Motors. Both are US-based companies.
    • "GM plans to start a ride-hailing service with its Chevrolet Bolt—the one with no steering wheel or pedals, the ultimate goal in autonomous technology—late next year, assuming the U.S. government has protocols in place by then." While this is a US-based company, it is being backed by SoftBank Vision Fund, a Japanese tech investor.
    • While Alphabet and GM are leading the industry now, it's being predicted that within the next three years, all contenders on the field will have an operational self-driving car. "Most of the companies now building autonomous vehicles can already handle basic driving at low speeds."


    • According to a 2018 report, the countries leading the pack in terms of readiness for autonomous vehicles are the Netherlands, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and Sweden, followed by the United States.
    • A different report also ranks Netherlands and Singapore as the top two best-prepared countries for autonomous vehicles, but follows them with the United States, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.