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Building Vehicle Autonomy: Sensors, Semiconductors, Software and U.S. Competitiveness

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Document pages: 27 pages

Abstract: This paper describes the current state of driving automation, the components that go into autonomous vehicles, and U.S. firm participation in the sector. There are three main components that enable autonomous driving: sensors, semiconductors, and software. Sensors, including cameras, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), and radar are used together to help vehicles see road conditions at various distances, and in different weather and lighting conditions. Semiconductors facilitate the processing of data gathered by sensors in order to make real time driving decisions. Machine learning and mapping software provide the tools to improve the operation and decision making of vehicles. U.S. firms, including vehicle manufacturers, parts suppliers, and tech companies are competing across all of the components of driving automation. As a new area of competition, there are opportunities for startups and for firms to move into new areas (e.g., vehicle manufacturers developing chips, and technology companies supplying automotive parts).

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