November 30, 2022

Rita McGrath

Rita McGrath

Rita McGrath Group

Rita McGrath Group

Blickfield - Levels of Automation

Blickfield – Levels of Automation

Argo AI has shut down after being unable to find sponsors for its driver assistance technology.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA, Nov. 8, 2022 / — Self-driving technology has become a holy grail for automakers. Who wouldn’t want to conveniently flag their car down for pickup at the mall entrance after a long day of shopping? Automakers know it could be a major selling point for their products.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) defines the different levels of automation:

Level 0 – No automation
Level 1 – Driver assistance
Level 2 – Partial automation
Level 3 – Conditional automation
Level 4 – High automation
Level 5 – Full automation

While current manufacturers have vehicles available with level two or three capability, level four is proving to be a significant challenge. Argo AI was working towards this goal, but with the end of support from Ford and Volkswagen, and no other investors in sight, they have closed their doors.

Ford and Volkswagen are taking what they learned from Argo AI in-house, and development will continue from there. That said, analysts now say that the availability of level four automation is not years away, but decades away.

Columbia Business School management expert Rita McGrath says:

“It’s a great story because it fits perfectly with my predictions about the pattern of an unfolding tipping point. First, great hype and investment. Then, disillusionment as a few survivors discover the business model. Then a maturing period where we figure out what a business could be. The way to get there is through what I call a step-up approach, where you find early markets that can profitably use the technology at its current level of development. After enough rungs have been built, you’ll encounter a full-blown ambush at the later turning point situation. Then we will completely forget what the world was like before.”

Although Argo AI has disbanded and its technology (along with some of its people) has been swallowed up by its backers, the search for truly autonomous transportation continues. Ford continues with its technology level 2/3 development.

But Argo AI was far from the only player in the car automation space. Oxbotica has been converting Ford Mondeos for level four autonomy tests in Oxford, England. In a significant milestone, its prototypes will join traffic in three major UK cities as part of its Project Endeavour. Perhaps the most visible player, Tesla, is also working hard to bring level four automation to market as well.

Although Argo AI has failed, work to meet the challenge of fully autonomous vehicles will continue for decades to come.

To learn more about Rita McGrath’s knowledge and tools, go to:

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