Chart via Nagivant.

Chart via Nagivant.

Ford has become the leading company in the development of automated driving systems, followed by General Motors, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and Daimler, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

The report looked at advances in computational architectures and sensing technology that are driving the market forward. These underpinnings will be coupled with dramatic cost reductions, vehicle electrification and ubiquitous connectivity for the roll-out of highly automated vehicles.

"Tremendous progress has been made in just the last few years on the development of automated driving systems," said Sam Abuelsamid, senior research analyst at Navigant Research. "However, as we get closer to deploying high-level automated driving, everyone involved must now address the remaining questions that are in many ways more difficult to answer than developing the foundational technologies."

The report didn't list Tesla Inc. as a leading developer of autonomous driving systems. The company was ranked as a contender. Navigant rated 18 leading developers of the systems as leaders, contenders, or challengers. Honda was ranked last among automakers.

"The companies that have the resources and expertise to ensure that the automation technologies are robust enough to operate in a broad range of conditions while also supporting business models that bring access to the masses are the most likely to succeed," Abuelsamid said.

Navigant rated the companies on 10 criteria including vision; go-to market strategy; partners; production strategy; technology; sales, marketing, and distribution; product capability; product quality and reliability; product portfolio; and staying power.

View the full report here.