Autonomous vehicles face bumpy roads as sale to reach 33 mn in 2040

Autonomous vehicle forecastAutonomous vehicles, which will drive the revenue of several technology companies, will be growing slowly.

The sale of autonomous vehicles will be more than 33 million in 2040. The number of autonomous vehicles on the roads will be 51,000 units in 2021, according to IHS Markit.

In 2040, autonomous vehicles sales in other global markets will reach nearly 6.3 million per year combined, compared to more than 27.4 million between the U.S., China and Europe.

The rapid convergence of autonomous driving and mobility services such as ride-hailing is a central driver of early deployment and growth of autonomous vehicles.

United States will lead the world in initial deployment and early adoption of production autonomous vehicles as early as 2019, while Europe and China are expected to begin adding considerable volume from 2021 onward. The report did not talk about India.

Mobility-as-a-Service will first bring autonomous vehicles technology to the masses before individual ownership of autonomous vehicles enters the picture.

“The first autonomous vehicle volumes — beyond retrofit test vehicles — will arrive in 2019 through driverless mobility services,” said Egil Juliussen, director of automotive technology research at IHS Markit.

“Volumes will surpass 51,000 units in 2021 when personally owned autonomous cars reach individual buyers for the first time, and IHS Markit forecasts estimate nearly 1 million units will be sold in 2025 across shared fleets and individually owned cars,” Egil Juliussen said.

Significant investment in transportation technology by OEMs, suppliers, mobility service providers and technology companies contributes to earlier deployment timelines, while dedicated mobility service brands within many automakers contributes to higher volumes of autonomous vehicles in the forecast.

The report said autonomous mobility services can deliver newfound personal freedom to the young, old, disabled and others without reliable transportation for everyday needs. Fleet operators in big cities who better understand the lower operational costs of battery electric vehicles are more likely to employ them to drive higher amounts of vehicle and passenger miles traveled.

A number of governments contemplate phasing out or disincentivizing gas-powered vehicles in favor of hybrids and electric vehicles, and as OEM efforts toward vehicle electrification continue, it’s logical that air quality in cities should improve.

The U.S. market will see the first autonomous vehicle sales in the world, as many individual states and the nation as a whole are expected to adopt an industry-friendly regulatory approach. The first uses will be in mobility service fleets, which will provide early hands-on experience with the technology and help reduce consumer skepticism.

Announcements from General Motors, Waymo and Uber contribute to early projected mobility fleet volumes in 2019 before personal autonomous vehicles become available as early as 2021. Total U.S. volumes of autonomous vehicles are expected to reach 7.4 million units per year in 2040.

“Regulations on autonomous vehicle testing and deployment are expected soon in China, and will provide clarity for the industry to reach 14.5 million autonomous vehicle sales in 2040,” said Jeremy Carlson, principal automotive analyst at IHS Markit.

European regulations are an obstacle to ride-hailing services that will drive initial deployment in the U.S., but European markets are especially strong in technology-rich luxury brands. The balance in Europe will tip toward personally-owned autonomous cars over driverless mobility fleets, amounting to 5.5 million autonomous vehicle sales annually in 2040.

Many countries including Japan, South Korea, Australia and Canada will have a mix of favorable conditions that introduce autonomous vehicles locally as early as 2022, most global markets are expected to experience more roadblocks that bring late initial deployment and low adoption of autonomous driving overall.

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