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Ranked: The Autonomous Vehicle Readiness of 20 Countries



For the past decade, manufacturers and governments all over the world have been preparing for the adoption of self-driving cars—with the promise of transformative economic development.

As autonomous vehicles become more of a looming certainty, what will be the wider impacts of this monumental transition?

Which Countries are Ready?

Today’s interactive visual from Aquinov Mathappan ranks countries on their preparedness to adopt self-driving cars, while also exploring the range of challenges they will face in achieving complete automation.

The Five Levels of Automation

The graphic above uses the Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index, which details the five levels of automation. Level 0 vehicles place the responsibility for all menial tasks with the driver, including steering, braking, and acceleration. In contrast, level 5 vehicles demand nothing of the driver and can operate entirely without their presence.

Today, most cars sit between levels 1 and 3, typically with few or limited automated functions. There are some exceptions to the rule, such as certain Tesla models and Google’s Waymo. Both feature a full range of self-driving capabilities—enabling the car to steer, accelerate and brake on behalf of the driver.

The Journey to Personal Driving Freedom

There are three main challenges that come with achieving a fully-automated level 5 status:

  1. Data Storage
    Effectively storing data and translating it into actionable insights is difficult when 4TB of raw data is generated every day—the equivalent of the data generated by 3,000 internet users in 24 hours.
  2. Data Transportation
    Autonomous vehicles need to communicate with each other and transport data with the use of consistently high-speed internet, highlighting the need for large-scale adoption of 5G.
  3. Verifying Deep Neural Networks
    The safety of these vehicles will be dictated by their ability to distinguish between a vehicle and a person, but they currently rely on algorithms which are not yet fully understood.

Which Countries are Leading the Charge?

The 20 countries were selected for the report based on economic size, and their automation progress was ranked using four key metrics: technology and innovation, infrastructure, policy and legislation, and consumer acceptance.

The United States leads the way on technology and innovation, with 163 company headquarters, and more than 50% of cities currently preparing their streets for self-driving vehicles. The Netherlands and Singapore rank in the top three for infrastructure, legislation, and consumer acceptance. Singapore is currently testing a fleet of autonomous buses created by Volvo, which will join the existing public transit fleet in 2022.

India, Mexico, and Russia lag behind on all fronts—despite enthusiasm for self-driving cars, these countries require legislative changes and improvements in the existing quality of roads. Mexico also lacks industrial activity and clear regulations around autonomous vehicles, but close proximity to the U.S. has already garnered interest from companies like Intel for manufacturing autonomous vehicles south of the border.

How Autonomous Vehicles Impact the Economy

Once successfully adopted, autonomous vehicles will save the U.S. economy $1.3 trillion per year, which will come from a variety of sources including:

  • $563 billion: Reduction in accidents
  • $422 billion: Productivity gains
  • $158 billion: Decline in fuel costs
  • $138 billion: Fuel savings from congestion avoidance
  • $11 billion: Improved traffic flow and reduction of energy use
    • With the adoption of autonomous vehicles projected to reduce private car ownership in the U.S. to 43% by 2030, it’s disrupting many other industries in the process.

      • Insurance
        Transportation will be safer, potentially reducing the number of accidents over time. Insurance companies are already rolling out usage-based insurance policies (UBIs), which charge customers based on how many miles they drive and how safe their driving habits are.
      • Travel
        Long distance traveling in autonomous vehicles provides a painless alternative to train and air travel. The vehicles are designed for comfort, making it possible to sleep overnight easily—which could also impact the hotel industry significantly.
      • Real Estate
        An increase in effortless travel could lead to increased urban sprawl, as people prioritize the convenience of proximity to city centers less and less.
        • Defining the parameters for this emerging industry will present significant and unpredictable challenges. Once the initial barriers are eliminated and the technology matures, the world could see a new renaissance of mobility, and the disruption of dozens of other industries as a result.

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Almost Every EV Stock is Down After Q1 2024

We compiled the performance of 10 pure play EV stocks into one chart, revealing one company that bucked the broader trend.



Almost Every EV Stock is Down After Q1 2024

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

While the S&P 500 index climbed over 10% in Q1 2024, the majority of EV stocks declined by double digit percentages over the period.

This is surprising, given that EVs were once the hottest trend in tech (before artificial intelligence came around).

In this graphic, we’ve visualized the Q1 2024 performance of 10 prominent pure play EV companies. Pure play in this context means companies that only focus on electric vehicles.

EV Stock Performance

The data we used to create this graphic can be found in the table below. Note the two biggest outliers: Nikola (+24.9%) and Fisker (-98.7%).

CompanyQ1 Price Change (%)
Li Auto-12.5

The majority of EV stocks have fallen due to slowing demand in major markets like the U.S. and China. This is a serious problem for startups like Rivian and Lucid, which are not yet profitable.

In fact, legacy automakers like Ford are looking to expand production of hybrid vehicles, which is likely causing many investors to avoid pure EV stocks.

Two Outliers Emerge

Nikola shares have rallied in recent weeks as the company reported positive momentum in its hydrogen fuel cell truck business. The company also opened its first hydrogen refueling station in Southern California, and has five more in the works.

On the flipside, Fisker Inc. has struggled enormously, even being delisted from the NYSE in late March 2024. Fisker Inc. is the successor to Fisker Automotive, which went bankrupt in 2013. Fisker Automotive was known for producing the Karma, a luxury EV sedan that competed with the Tesla Model S.

Back to today’s Fisker, the company is once again in hot water. Over 40,000 customers have cancelled reservations for the company’s “Ocean” electric SUV, which is currently under investigation for door malfunctions.

Other Major EV Developments

In other news, Tesla is once again the world’s best-selling EV company, after outselling China’s BYD by 87,000 units in Q1 2024.

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