Google Driverless Car Project, United States
Headed by Chris Urmson this project now operates more than 20 autonomous vehicles which accumulate about 10.000km of urban autonomous driving per week in Mountain View (as of 5/2015). The project began in 2009 under the direction of Darpa Grand Challengen winner Sebastian Thrun. Another key member of the project is Anthony Levandowski, who has built a self-driving motorcycle.
GM-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab
Uber Advanced Technologies Center
Located in Pittsburgh, near the Carnegie Mellon University Campus, this center focuses on research in the areas of autonomous vehicles, vehicle safety technologies and mapping. This includes a collaboration with CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC).
Located in Santa Clara. Provides parallel processing, automotive grade high-performance hard- and software for autonomous driving. Its software platform provides base algorithms for autonomous driving out of the box. Has recently run a limited trial of using deep learning for lateral control of a self-driving car. The company may emerge as a key technology provider for the commercialization phase of self-driving cars.
Started by MIT researchers Karl Iagnemma and Emilio Frazzoli, this company has launched trials of self-driving cars in Singapore and plans to have its self-driving taxis deployed in 10 cities around the world by 2020.
University of Berlin, Germany
The Autonomos car team is headed by Raúl Rojas. The team has sent a prototype to the 2007 Urban Grand Challenge (where it reached the semi-finals) and currently tests the ‘MadeInGermany‘ driverless vehicle public on roads in Germany (it has obtained an official test license). The team has developed an autonomous car taxi service and also has demonstrated an early brain-computer interface for steering a car.
Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Particpated in Urban Challenge 2005 and 2007. Headed by Christoph Stiller. Cooperated with Daimler in 2013 to have a Mercedes drive autonomously more than 100km through Southern Germany using only close-to-market sensors (no LIDAR). Also involved in localization for autonomous railways. A spinoff (Atlatec) focuses on vision-based 3D mapping and map-based localization.
Universität der Bundeswehr, Munich, Germany
Develops MuCAR-3, a modified Volkswagen Tourag. Headed by Hans-Joachim Wünsche. Repeated participation in the European Land Robot Trials (see an example video). Focus on expectation-based perception (4D, Saccadic vision) and off-road navigation and driving. A recent video (in German)
VisLab, University of Parma, Italy
VisLab is a spin-off of the University of Parma headed by Alberto Broggi and has been involved in automated vehicles research for more than 15 years. Instead of using LIDAR sensors, his approach is based on computer vision. In July 2013 his BRAiVE prototype successfully navigated rural, urban and freeway traffic in Parma, Italy. In 2010 his team completed a 13000 km journey with two autonomous vehicles from Italy to China. Supplied vision technology to Oshkosh automated vehicle that particpated in the Grand Challenge.
Oxford Mobile Robotics Group, UK
Headed by Pau Newmann, the group develops the Wildcat autonomous vehicle. Key research areas are large scale navigation and scene understanding, going far beyond traditional algorithms for simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). The group is also involved in the europa project to build an autonomous robotic pedestrian assistant.
INRIA IMARA, Paris, France
Joint venture between a Ligier Group, a vehicle manufacturer, and Robosoft, a robotics software company. Their main product is a driverless shuttle, the EZ-10, which is tested in several European cities as part of the Citymobil2 project.
Autonomous solution provider (Formerly: Induct). Offers a driverless shuttle called ‘Navya’ Currently trialed in Greenwich, UK.
Griffth University, Intelligent Control Systems Lab, Australia
This lab is headed by Ljubo Vlacic. Research in cooperative driverless vehicles and an autonomous research platform.
Singapore-MIT-Alliance for Research and Technology, Singapore
Aims to develop new paradigms for urban mobility. The future urban mobility group experiments with autonomous golf carts to improve last mile transportation and builds simulation models for predicting mobility demands in transportation networks. A BBC report.
Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Korea
The institute works on various aspects of robot/cognitive convergence, including navigation, 3D depth sensing and is working on an autonomous vehicle shuttle for outdoor environments (ESTRO).
A joint venture of ZMP and DeNA which aims to develop an autonomous taxi service. RobotTaxi wants to have the first autonomous taxis available for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Autonomous car research in China
It is difficult to get detailed information about the autonomous car prototypes on China. But China Daily has reported highway trials auf driverless car prototypes involving the Military Transportation University (Tianjin) (120 km highway drive in 2012) and the National University of Defence (Bejing) (286 km highway drive in 2011). An article claims that the National University of Defence plans to cooperate with China’s First Auto Works to bring the technology into commercial vehicles. The National Natural Science Foundation of China plans a longer 2400km drive from Beijing to Shenzhen in 2015.
Yutong Bus Company, China
Develops a self-driving city bus. In September 2015 their prototype autonomous bus completed a 32km trip in regular traffic on an intercity road, including lane changes, over- taking etc.
Autonomous Solutions, Inc (ASI), USA
Offers a vehicle automation kit which can be used to convert traditional vehicles for autonomous operation. ASI has equipped many types of vehicles including mining trucks for autonomous operation. A video shows some of their autonomous vehicles.
Please send us an email if you know of other teams and projects working on driverless cars