While autonomous cars seem to be in the far future for most, they are closer to being deployed than most are aware. Silicon Valley alone has 42 entities testing with 285 cars, nation-wide even more than 1,000 cars are on the roads.
The Brookings Institute tried to estimate how much companies have so far spent on developing autonomous cars and arrive at the mind-blowing sum of 80 billion dollars. Here is how the authors collected their data for the past three years across three continents.
- Investments in R&D
- Venture Capital Investments
Especially surprising is the jump in investments last year. Almost 50 billion dollars were spent in 2016, and 2017 has seen 20 billion dollars in publicly disclosed investments.
Although the 80 billion dollar estimates sound already like a lot, the study authors believe that the investments are even higher. The secretiveness of the companies doesn’t make the analysis easier.
A detailed analysis of the methodology and the numbers are available at Brookings Institute.
This article has also been published in German.