July 22, 2024

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IDC Research Examines Autonomous Driving Technology Progress, Features of Six Major Vehicle Brands Evaluated

BEIJING, 11 June 2024 – Recent developments in technology, including artificial intelligence (AI) have enabled the connected, autonomous, shared, and electric (CASE) mobility trend. This trend has been accompanied by the emergence of a highly competitive automotive industry in China. A new report from IDC China, Autonomous Driving Capabilities Assessment, 2024 , examines the progress of autonomous driving technology and evaluates the autonomous driving features of six major vehicle brands.

The autonomous driving market is advancing into a new stage of development, enabled by major breakthroughs in algorithm performance, computing power, and data development.

Algorithms: The maturity and application of the Transformer model in autonomous driving engineering projects has greatly enhanced perception performance. The decision-making and planning module is gradually changing from rule-based to model-based, providing room for enhancing vehicles’ independent decision-making capabilities and coping with complex road conditions. Moreover, enterprises have started in-depth exploration and actual deployment of end-to-end algorithms for the entire perception-planning process, which lays a foundation for further realization of efficient driver assistance and even full driving automation.

Computing Power: In response to the large-scale computing needs in the realm of autonomous driving, enterprises are actively developing and applying high-performance, specialized neural processing units (NPUs) to provide strong support for endpoint equipment to run large-scale neural networks and complex models. The increasing use of NPUs at the vehicle end effectively provides hardware support for the application of enhanced advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) algorithms.

Data Development: The optimization of data development and model training efficiency has significantly accelerated software iteration. Some enterprises have implemented development toolsets based on the concept of closed-loop data to realize the automation and efficiency of the whole data processing process and established integrated online data flow and development systems. Thanks to the changes brought about by the data closed-loop, software iteration has been significantly accelerated, and multiple iterations in a day have become possible.

According to Catherine Hong, senior market analyst for IDC China, “The rising investment in autonomous driving, continuous advancement of chip processing power, and rapid iteration of software versions have fueled the China autonomous driving market to enter a new phase of development. The competition in the China autonomous driving market will become even fiercer, and the establishment of competitive advantages in this field depends on car makers’ long-term investment in the research and development of autonomous driving technology, effective management, and use of autonomous driving data assets, as well as continuous enhancement of the excellent performance and reliability of their products.”

To evaluate the autonomous driving experience offered by automotive OEMs, IDC focused on the enhanced ADAS features of six major vehicle brands in China: AITO, JI YUE, Li Auto, NIO, Tesla, and XPeng (listed alphabetically). The enhanced ADAS features included parking, LCC (Lane Centering Control), and NOA (Navigate on Autopilot).

The evaluation found that the penetration rate of advanced autonomous driving functions of most brands needs improvement. When it comes to the parking function, the brands in this study generally achieved high success rates in automatic parking in standard parking spaces but still need to improve their flexible response capability in the face of changes in the parking environment, passing, and other situations. In driving use cases, all the brands have relatively high completion in highway NOA, but the response ability of most systems still meets great challenges in complex traffic situations in urban areas.

Looking to the future, investment in autonomous driving has become a certain trend. With the mass production of various brands of cars with autonomous driving functions and the increasing improvement of advanced autonomous driving functions, car makers will be bound to get involved in fierce competition in this field no matter what position they hold in intelligence and autonomous driving. Whether a company chooses to purchase technology, cooperate in development, or be devoted to independent R&D, it is time to accelerate the investment in this field, as it is the prerequisite to participate in market competition to keep pace with or even surpass competitors in autonomous driving technology.

“Global autonomous vehicle development efforts are being significantly fast-tracked with the introduction of Generative AI capabilities in autonomous vehicle (AV) development, testing, and lifecycle management,” said Sandeep Mukunda, Research Manager, Sustainable Mobility and Transportation Strategies at IDC. “The introduction of foundation and large language models in AV development has enabled highly accurate and robust perception, virtual test case generation, and voice-based assistance with multi-language support for reporting and automating various other processes across AV life cycle.”

The IDC report, Autonomous Driving Capabilities Assessment, 2024 (Doc #CHE50962524), examines the trends underlying the autonomous vehicle market and provides a detailed evaluation of the autonomous driving capabilities of six major vehicle brands in China. The evaluation is based on research interviews and on-road testing with leading and professional car makers. In addition, the analysis is built on a series of secondary data analysis, including but not limited to comments and analysis by global industry experts, technical insights from global academia, IDC’s worldwide technology and market research accumulation in the fields of automobile and AI, and feedback from end users.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,300 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading tech media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights.