Here’s every company developing self-driving car tech at CES 2018

Waymo, Lyft, and all the self-driving car companies at CES 2018

Jeremy Kaplan / Digital Trends
From Mazda to Maserati, every major car manufacturer is up to its lug nuts in R&D aimed at self-driving cars. But it’s not just carmakers that want your hands off the wheel; there are literally dozens of technology companies big and small that have designs on the drive as well. Will Detroit get there before Silicon Valley?

At CES 2018, car and gadget makers alike are showing off their wares and demonstrating the autonomous cars of the future. We set out to create a comprehensive who’s who of the space to show the breadth and scope of what’s happening — but it’s simply impossible.

Dozens of technology and car companies big and small have designs aimed at self-driving cars

For example, there must be a dozen companies showing off Lidar systems – those are the eyeballs for cars that let them drive themselves. A group called 6th wants to make Lidar systems for motorcycles, Benewake plans to make solid-state lidar detectors with fewer moving parts, and TriLumina makes “3D solid-state lidar,” which probably is an improvement over non-3D, non-solid state systems, but we’ll be damned if we know just how.

Then there’s a fleet of companies with new interfaces to facilitate how you interact with your car (human-machine interaction, or HMI – because, of course, there’s an acronym), as well as a small armada working on automotive-grade Linux, which pretty much everyone seems to think is going to be at the heart of every self-driving vehicle someday. Sorry, Windows.

Anyway, here’s a sorta-maybe comprehensive look at who’s who in this brave new world.


every company developing self driving car tech ces 2018 amotive autonomous

With tens of millions of dollars in the bank and big ambitions, AImotive has developed proprietary autonomous driving capabilities with cheap components – off-the-shelf cameras and that sort of thing. But it’s legit: The company has received autonomous testing licenses on public roads for multiple locations, including Hungary, France, and California. It plans to further expand testing to Japan and China, as well as other U.S. states, in 2018.


every company developing self driving car tech ces 2018 aptiv autonomous

Here’s a name you don’t know but should get familiar with. Aptiv was once part of Delphi, which was itself once part of GM, and is probably the biggest name in automotive components. Working with Lyft, Aptiv is taking journalists on rides in self-driving cars here at CES. The vehicle and automated technology is Aptiv’s, whereas the consumer platform/app is developed by Lyft.

every company developing self driving car tech ces 2018 argo ai

Argo has a helluva pedigree: founders Bryan Salesky (who now serves as the CEO) and Peter Rander (chief operating officer) formerly led the self-driving car teams at Google and Uber, respectively. No wonder Ford announced a $1 billion investment in Argo about a year ago. The goal: to “develop a new software platform for Ford’s fully autonomous vehicle coming in 2021.”


every company developing self driving car tech ces 2018 aurora innovation autonomous

What would happen if the smartest people from Google, Tesla, and Uber decided to leave the big giants and set out on their own? Aurora would happen – and the secretive startup just unveiled plans to work with Hyundai and Volkswagen on autonomous cars.


every company developing self driving car tech ces 2018 baidu autonomous

The Chinese search engine giant wants to expand its reach into autonomous vehicles, and has several big announcements planned for CES 2018. This year, they’ll be showing off Apollo 2.0 — the latest iteration of Baidu’s open, autonomous driving platform – as well as Apollo Pilot, Baidu’s solution for L3 autonomous driving.


cisco to cut 6000 jobs as it battles slow sales in emerging markets

The name Cisco is synonymous with networks – and guess what’s in every car these days? Really, really complicated networks, on a slew of aging wiring protocols. Like every company everywhere, Cisco views the automotive space as a bajillion-dollar opportunity. Expect to hear from them at CES.


2017 Acura NSX

You may know the name Clarion based on its few decades of work in car stereos. The company, a subsidiary of Hitachi, actually makes a boatload of software that goes into cars as well. To make sure everyone’s aware of that, Clarion will be showcasing and providing real in-car demonstrations of its next-generation autonomous driving technologies at CES, including autonomous valet parking.


Delphi self-driving Audi SQ5

See Aptiv.

Faraday Future

Bill Robertson/Digital Trends

Just kidding! RIP.

Green Hills Software

every company developing self driving car tech ces 2018 green hill software 2 autonomous

Green Hills Software sees a future in self-driving cars; at CES the company is partnering with microcontroller maker Renesas Electronics to show off a demonstration platform that includes everything BUT the actual “driving the car” part. Called the Connected Cockpit Vehicle, it does navigation, multimedia, control of your A/C, the interaction between you and car, and more. It also just sounds neat.



See Waymo.


Intel and Waymo

You can’t have a list of emerging tech stuff and not see Intel somewhere on it. Intel is betting on automotive-grade Linux, and is doing serious work to make this a reality. At CES, Intel’s Transport Division will demo an auto reference platform, and in general, they’re working with anyone and everyone to facilitate it, touting partnerships at CES 2018 with BMW, Nissan, SAIC Motor, Volkswagen, and Ferrari North America.


self driving bus crash vegas account 14980
Jeff Zurschmeide/Digital Trends

See Navya.


Aptiv-Lyft self-driving car demonstration

See Aptiv above.


mcity navya driverless shuttle bus

We hate the name, which sounds like something a New York cabbie would say to you around a cigar (“Navya to Rockefeller Centah? You got it!”). But Navya is one company actually doing, not just talking. The French company makes the self-driving shuttle busses that are tootling around Las Vegas, including the one that made international headlines in November for an eensy-weensy crash. This year, Keolis and Navya will be showing off autonomous robotaxis (which sounds like the same thing).


nutonomy self driving taxi boston testing

It builds the software that lets self-driving cars drive. Nutonomy was acquired by Aptiv recently.


every company developing self driving car tech ces 2018 nvidia autonomous

Nvidia was once just a graphics giant. No more. The company has reinvented itself, expanding into a number of areas, including machine vision. We learned last year of Nvidia’s autonomous vehicle partnership with Audi. Expect big news this year.


qualcomm snapdragon 450 news booth

Qualcomm isn’t making self-driving cars. But like Intel and Nvidia, the chip giant is making it all possible, and leading the charge at CES 2018. One specialty: Vehicle-to-everything communications, thanks to 5G connections. But Qualcomm also has plans for dynamic electric vehicle charging and more.

Renesas Electronics

Self driving vehicles from Renesas at CES 2018

Semiconductor manufacturer Renesas has been around since 2010; at CES 2018 the company partnered with half a dozen names on this list to show off three self driving vehicles: a Cadillac SRX and a Lincoln MKZ from years past (with some upgrades, we hear), and a RAM 1500 truck with a new vision of what the cockpit of the future will look like.


every company developing self driving car tech ces 2018 transdev autonomous bus

It’s not just U.S. engineers working on self-driving cars, of course. French company Transdev recently launched the Rouen Normandy Autonomous Lab project, Europe’s first autonomous electric vehicles available for public use. And just to make sure you’re aware, they’re going to have the vehicles at CES.


every company developing self driving car tech ces 2018 torc robotics autonomous bus

Torc is a robotics company that claims to have “one of the oldest self-driving car teams developing autonomous technology today.” The Asimov self-driving system by Torc was jumpstarted back in 2007 with a third-place win in the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Urban Challenge, a road race testing self-driving vehicles. At CES, they’re showing off a complete self-driving car.


2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan Waymo Self-driving Test Fleet

Actually, we don’t think Waymo’s here at all. But the Google spinoff was clearly among the first to put self-driving cars on the map.

The University of Waterloo

every company developing self driving car tech ces 2018 renesas electronics autonomous

Who? I know. The school will be at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show showcasing software to drive a car, called the Renesas autonomy vehicle, with vehicle driving demonstrations operated by Renesas Electronics staff and Waterloo researchers.



Last year at CES, Volvo and Autoliv teamed up to launch Zenuity. In June, the duo were joined by Nvidia, which signed an agreement to power the platform. And at CES 2018, TomTom joined the party with its HD mapping technology. The cars of the future are just around the corner, it seems!


Apple opens up about its self-driving car program in letter to NHTSA

Apple has traditionally kept details about its self-driving car technology under wraps, but it has revealed details about the program in a rare instance of openness. The company takes safety seriously.

Waymo rules and Apple trails in California self-driving car benchmarks

California's DMV releases annual reports of self-driving car disengagements on public roads. In the most recent reports. Waymo had the best performance, GM Cruise came in second, and Apple's self-driving program was in last place.

Audi is advancing the tech that teaches cars to talk to traffic lights

Audi is teaching its cars the language of traffic lights. The company developed technology that tells motorists what speed they should drive at in order to catch as many green lights as possible.

Researchers teach self-driving cars to predict pedestrians’ next moves

University of Michigan researchers are developing a system that teaches self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement. Humans don't always act in their own best self-interest, so autonomous cars will need to practice protective driving.

Nissan is using old Leaf batteries to power and connect off-the-grid campers

Nissan has teamed up with trailer manufacturer Opus to design a mobile, weatherproof power pack built with battery cells sourced from the first-generation Leaf. Called Roam, the pack stores enough electricity to power a camper for up to a…

Alfa Romeo’s latest Ferrari-powered F1 race car is ready to hit the track

Alfa Romeo is doubling down on Formula One racing after a decades-long hiatus. Now essentially a support team for Ferrari, its 2019 driver lineup includes a former world champion and a potential future star.

Subaru’s latest VIZIV concept car is pumped full of adrenaline

The Subaru VIZIV Adrenaline is the seventh member of the Japanese automaker's family of VIZIV concept cars. It debuts at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, but for now, all we're getting is a shadowy teaser image.

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.

Arizona city slammed with $10M lawsuit over fatal Uber autonomous car accident

The family of Elaine Herzberg, the woman struck and killed by one of Uber's self-driving prototypes, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Tempe, Arizona. They claim Herzberg jaywalked because she was confused by a brick…

Mercedes lets the sun shine in one last time with SLC Final Edition convertible

The Mercedes-Benz SLC convertible sports car is going out of production. Launched in 1996 as the SLK, the model has been a fixture in the Mercedes-Benz lineup across three generations.

Aston Martin’s next hypercar, due in 2021, will pack a hybrid powertrain punch

Aston Martin will follow up the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro with a new hypercar, code-named Project 003. The car will debut in 2021, with production limited to 500 units worldwide.

Tesla will release fully self-driving cars in 2019 — with a big asterisk

Tesla reaffirmed its goal of releasing a fully self-driving car by the end of 2019, but it warned the system won't work perfectly 100 percent of the time. Convincing regulators that it's safe to use will require some effort, too.