Self-driving market to become reality in the US by 2026


One in four new vehicles sold will be driverless

Annual sales of fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) in the US will reach five million by 2026. In comparison, the global market will account for 20 million new AVs sold during the same year, according to new findings from Juniper Research.

The new research found that the market adoption of AV technologies is set to ramp up in the future, driven by: competition from the likes of Google, whose focus has been on entirely driverless vehicles; heavy investments from Volvo, Audi, Daimler and GM positioning themselves as mobility services firms; governments enabling firms to test AVs on their roads and invest in smart city infrastructure; and drivers becoming accustomed to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

Juniper ranked the five most promising players in the driverless car sector as: Waymo (Google); Volvo; Tesla; Daimler; and Audi.

Ranked number one, Google is further ahead than traditional manufacturers in terms of technology and miles tested. Waymo is set to be integrated into smart city strategies for public transportation and could licence its expertise to other OEMs; threatening the role of the Tier 1 suppliers. [Players were scored on factors including development time, public trials, miles tested, fleet size, and consumer awareness].

Juniper estimates that 45 million on-road vehicles will have some form of ADAS functionality by the end of 2018, with adoption reaching 100 million by 2020. Additionally, with luxury vehicles incorporating semi-autonomous technologies, such as the new Audi A8, the market will further evolve to full automation, while shifting its focus to delivering a complete driver experience.

Research author Michael Larner explained: “The introduction of fully autonomous technologies, with some vehicles no longer having steering wheels and pedals, will mean that the focus will shift from how drivers get from A-B to how the occupants use the journey time.”


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