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Toyota, Daimler-Benz, Honda Are Leading Auto OEMs for Self-Driving Cars

Lux Research

Few automakers offer significant technical differentiation, so innovative business models are key to success, Lux Research says

BOSTON, MA – June 21, 2016 – Every major automotive company has announced plans for a car with self-driving capabilities, but only five carmakers – Daimler, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and Volvo – earn a positive take in Lux Research’s analysis of OEMs’ autonomous vehicle efforts.

In an emerging scenario of few significant technical differentiations and near-ubiquitous systems capabilities, Lux Research evaluated 12 carmakers and offered a “positive” rating based on three key criteria: demonstrated capability, investment and partnerships.

“At the end of the day, the company with the best business plan will win the race toward autonomy,” said Kevin See, Lux Research Director and author of the report titled, “Determining Who’s in the Fastlane for Autonomous Vehicles: A Comparison of Automotive OEM Plans for Driverless Cars.”

“Few companies will have a significant technology advantage, so winners will need to capitalize on novel business models from car sharing and ride sharing to monetizing their own data,” he added.


Lux Research evaluated 12 carmakers developing autonomous cars and gave each company a “Lux Take,” based on such things as strategy, roadmaps, partnerships and investments. Among their findings:

  • A few OEMs begin to stand out. A few key players have shown significant progress compared to their peers – namely Daimler Trucks compared to the rest of the trucking market and Tesla, BMW, Daimler Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota, which have all showcased significant technical advancements over their direct competition in the market.

  • Revenue challenge lies ahead. The rise of autonomous cars confronts carmakers with the challenge of retaining recurring revenues that could otherwise accrue to software makers and car dealers, besides monetizing their own data streams. They need to consider new business models as users shift to shared ownership, and consider comfort and ease of transportation over the driving experience.

  • The future lies in mobility services. Automotive companies aspiring to become “mobility providers” – earning money from services like ride-sharing rather than simply sales of cars –  are the most likely to succeed in this rapidly changing marketplace.  

The report, titled “Determining Who’s in the Fastlane for Autonomous Vehicles: A Comparison of Automotive OEM Plans for Driverless Cars,” is part of the Lux Research Autonomous Systems 2.0 Intelligence service.