Study: Autonomous driving changes cities and auto industry

Study: Autonomous driving changes cities and auto industry

Market news |
By eeNews Europe

"Though it will take quite a while until we see large numbers of driverless cars on public roads, carmakers should start to cope with the potential consequences. The companies should understand self-driving and connected cars as a disruptive technology which however bears massive business opportunities", says Detlev Mohr, head of McKinsey’s European Automotive Consulting Services. Examples are infotainment offerings or individualised service offerings that give priority to the vendor’s own repair shops. Such a feature would have a considerable impact on independent workshops.

The driving time freed up though the autopilot mode also holds great potential. "Every minute in the car when drivers have the chance to surf the internet offers a market potential of 5 billion euros per year", Mohr extrapolated.

The disruptive character of autonomous driving also imposes significant threats to the incumbent OEMs. New players, preferably from the IT and high-tech industries could utilise the period of upheaval to attack the entrenched business models along the automotive value chain. "Carmakers should consider which critical positions around the intersection of vehicle and software they intend to dominate in the long term," said Dominik Wee, co-author of the study and partner in McKinsey’s Munich office. "Those OEMs who do not bet on autonomous driving must identify other differentiating features such as eco-friendliness, performance or an attractive price".

Autonomous driving, the study explains, will impact many more industries than just the automotive industry. The changes will affect entire industry branches and cities.

  • In controllable environments such as agriculture or mining, autonomous vehicles are already reality. They enable operators to cut labour costs by as much as 90% and CO2 emission reduction by 60%.
  • In combination with innovative mobility offerings like car sharing, autonomous vehicles potentially can alter the taxi and rental car business thoroughly. Over the past five years, the number of vehicles participating in car-sharing schemes grew by 30% annually, the number of users by 41%.
  • This also affects the available space in city centres. Automated parking outside the city centres and tightly packed parking space where vehicles park themselves autonomously could free up 25% of the parking space for other uses in the USA, the study finds.
  • Currently more than 1.2 billion people spend 50 minutes per day at average in the car, and a large part of this time they end up in a traffic congestion. Automated driving could improve the traffic flow and make the time in the car usable.
  • The business model of car insurances is in for massive alterations. At present, they focus on individual insurances of all traffic participants against human failure. In the future, the criterion will shift to the fleet organisation of fleet organisations against technical failure.
  • In the U.S., traffic-related accidents are ranking second as the cause of death. 90% of these accidents are a consequence of human error. Autonomous driving has the potential to drastically reduce the number of fatalities on the road.
  • Fully automated driving and robotics are utilising similar technologies. The mass acceptance of autonomous vehicles thus can boost the market success of robots in other applications.

Related articles:

Self-driving cars in real-world traffic with real customers

Autonomous driving creates billion-dollar market

Study: Connected Car to spur competition between OEMs and IT players

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