Tesla Isn't the Only Automaker Getting Close to Full Automation

Getty Images / David Becker

Tesla Autopilot is probably the most famous self-driving system in the world, but according to the publisher of Kelley Blue Book, the auto industry’s unofficial Bible of vehicle worth, Elon Musk’s company isn’t the only one with autonomous technology up its sleeve. Pretty much every major automaker has an equivalent system, and KBB Publisher Karl Brauer says some of them are even better than Autopilot, but “they’re not bragging about them.”

The systems developed by major automakers are more varied than Autopilot, and many seem to be holding off until they have developed a higher level of autonomy than what they’re capable of now. Ford and General Motors definitely have autonomous systems that sound like they’re about the level of Autopilot. In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Brauer mentioned that Tesla’s Autopilot isn’t any better than the systems made by other major automakers included in the 20 or so companies that have equivalent — or even better — systems than Autopilot. Brauer said that the traditional automakers, like Ford, BMW, and others, are waiting to release some features until they have a completed project, rather than incrementally releasing things as they’re developed, like the continually-updating Autopilot system, and “they’re not bragging.”

Although a number of companies have announced intentions to release an autonomous car, both Ford and GM seem like they could give Autopilot some competition. Ford has announced that it plans to have an autonomous level four system released to the public by 2021 as a ride-sharing vehicle. It’s also purchased or partnered with a number of autonomous car tech companies in the past few years. It doesn’t look like Ford’s system has a name, but it’s been developing it in hybrid Ford Fusions and will have 90 in road testing in 2017.

GM has an autonomous system called “Super Cruise,” rumored to be very similar to Tesla’s Autopilot. According to Reuters, when “Super Cruise” realizes the road is too complicated for it, or if the driver isn’t paying attention, it turns on the hazard lights, slows down, and pulls off the road. The NHTSA wondered if the system was safe in March 2016, and GM has moved the release date for the public from late 2016 to sometime in 2017.

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