U.S., Japan will be fastest to adopt autonomous cars, says report

U.S., Japan will be fastest to adopt autonomous cars, says report

Market news |
By Rich Pell

According to a recent study from IHS, the United States will lead the world in both initial deployment and early adoption of autonomous vehicles. Japan is expected to catch up ahead of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020 both in terms of industry coordination and investment. By 2025, global sales of autonomous vehicles will reach almost 600.000 units, estimates IHS expert Egil Juliussen. This translates into an impressive compound growth rate of 43% between 2012 and 2035, albeit starting from a rather low level.

Factors driving the proliferation of autonomous driving (in all variations) include new societal, business and mobility trends like ride sharing, car sharing, and rising investment by all parties of the automotive value chain including new players. ”Future mobility will connect and combine many different modes and technologies, and autonomous vehicles will play a central role,” explains Jeremy Carlson, principal analyst at IHS Automotive. The market watchers also expect that entirely new vehicle segments will be created, in addition to traditional vehicles adding autonomous capabilities.

Once existing obstacles related to liabilities, regulation and consumer acceptance will be eliminated, the U.S. market will see earliest deployment of autonomous vehicles in 2020 with several thousands vehicles. Subsequently IHS expects a steep incline in vehicles sold – within the next 15 years (starting 2020), the market researcher expects some 4.5 million units in the U.S.

Despite a late start China will quickly overtake the U.S. as the largest market for autonomous vehicles. By 2035 the country will be the largest single market for cars with some level of autonomy, resulting in sales figures of 5.7 million units, believes IHS.

Europe with its large traditional carmakers will achieve some 4.2 million units by 3035. The lion’s share of 3 million are expected to be sold in Western Europe, and IHS attests the Old Continent industry technology leadership, at least in its premium segment.

A number of challenges however could pose a serious threat to user acceptance and viability of autonomous driving schemes, IHS emphasizes. On the technology side, these challenges include software reliability and cyber security. In addition, the lack of – or the necessity to establish – regulatory standards and legal frameworks could emerge as a roadblock.

Related articles:
Google finds cooperation partner for autonomous driving development
Driverless cars need a driver, says California DMV
GM plans to “self-disrupt” in connected, autonomous cars
Autonomous driving not (only) a question of technology, managers say

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