While there is still certainly a bit of an open debate going on over whether or not Apple and Google are truly serious about releasing autonomous electric cars themselves, even if the two companies are serious who’s going to do the manufacturing? Foxconn isn’t very well going to build cars for Apple and ship them halfway across the world are they?
On this rather fun speculative note… The guys over at Re/code have created the below graphic summing up their predictions on the matter.
The reasoning behind the choices was explained thusly:
The list below is not exhaustive. Yet after conversations with nearly a dozen manufacturers, industry experts and tech companies involved in the world of self-driving cars, Re/code assembled a portrait of the leading, innovative companies and critical dynamics in the autonomous industry.
Electrek provides a bit more:
The exterior of the cars could, it suggests, be made by five companies: Roush, Delphi, Edison2, Atieva and Renovo Motors. The first of those, Roush, is a Michigan-based “boutique automotive supplier” which already has a head-start: it assembled the exterior for Google’s prototype self-driving cars.
Renovo recently teamed-up with engineers from Stanford University to create a self-driving electric DeLorean capable of donuts and drifting. While it was of course a PR stunt, you need some impressive tech to pull it off. Atieva, founded by a former Tesla VP and with many former Tesla staff in its employ, is noted for its expertise in battery tech, and is working on building a complete electric car.
For the internals – including the technology required for self-driving capabilities – Continental, Bosch and Frimo are all listed as contenders. Bosch already has an impressive record in the field. Continental is another Tesla supplier working on “systems that build autonomy into brakes, acceleration and steering.”
I don’t really disagree with any of that, but it should be remembers that this is highly speculative at this point. Until Apple or Google actually mass produces a car I’m probably going to remain somewhat skeptical.