The Future Outlook of Autonomous Vehicles
In the final part of our autonomous vehicles series, we’re looking at predictions and forecasts for the future of the driverless car market. Globally, the autonomous vehicle market was valued at $21.4 billion in 2019, with projections showing an expected CAGR of 18.06% during the 2020-2025 forecast period.
In order to navigate their environment, autonomous cars leverage advanced technology, such as LIDAR, computer vision, RADAR, and GPS. When these control systems are integrated into the vehicle, it furnishes the car with the ability to interpret sensory data to detect things like signboards, traffic patterns, and avoid collision pathways.
What to Expect From AVs Looking Forward
It’s highly likely that we’ll see a rapid period of growth between now and 2030 for vehicles in the level 2 and level 3 categories. These breeds of autonomous cars will be fitted with features like lane departure warning, collision detection, adaptive cruise control, and similar advanced driver assistance systems.
Fully autonomous vehicles – level 4 and level 5 – need to first address a number of challenges, like data security and protection from cyber-attacks, before they can be rolled out to a broad consumer base. According to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s Autonomous/Driverless Car Market- Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 – 2025) report, if these concerns are addressed in the near future, we could potentially see the autonomous car market reach an estimated $60 billion by 2030.
Over the past several years, major players in the automobile industry – along with startups and tech giants – have invested over $50 billion in the development of AV technology. From a trucking and ride-sharing perspective, AVs offer a plethora of economic and environmental advantages. While progression on the consumer side is further from becoming a widespread reality, autonomous vehicles in this realm have the potential of rendering huge social and economic benefits.
Covid-19 Impact on Autonomous Driving Technology
While major markets across the globe are expected to face a sharp decline in passenger vehicle demand due to the pandemic, forecasters are also optimistic about seeing positive growth for vehicles equipped with some degree of autonomy by 2030. Ride-hailing and car-sharing, which tech companies and developers are currently focused on, could see level 4 and 5 autonomous vehicles on the road as early as 2025. Shared mobility within the autonomous vehicle landscape will likely see large-scale deployment before 2030 in cities with a high population density and connected infrastructure.
Even amid the economic uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus, goods-delivery AVs and autonomous shuttles are still being deployed in several countries – a positive sign for this marketplace, which needs a little nudge to weather the pandemic.
What’s Trending in the Autonomous Vehicle Market
Among the many buzz-worthy topics in the AV space, Autonomous Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) continues to emerge as a major contender to disrupt the transportation system as we know it. Automakers have the opportunity to capitalize on this trend – as driverless ridesharing can be positioned as a low-cost transit option. Car sharing capabilities also present a tremendous opportunity – especially for companies like Waymo, Tesla, Daimler, and others who have hands-on autonomous vehicles.
The commercial vehicle industry will see similar disruption due to autonomous and connected vehicle technology. As the development of level 1 and 2 trucks continues to progress, we can expect to see the trucking market undergo a major shift in leading tech players, as well as with operations of OEMs.
According to Research and Markets 2020 ADAS & Autonomous Driving Technology – Market & Industry Analysis, “A typical autonomy package consists of key technologies such as – sensing and mapping hardware, sensor-supporting hardware, mapping and localization software, control systems and computing hardware, control system software, data/cybersecurity software, connectivity hardware, V2X/connectivity software, HMI & safety-related hardware, and HMI software.” While these technologies apply to both passenger and commercial vehicles, when we look at the autonomous vehicle ecosystem as a whole, there’s a much greater focus being placed on the commercial side of the equation.
The future, while optimistic at an estimated value of nearly $25 Billion by 2025, requires partnerships and alliances, as recently witnessed through Microsoft’s large investment into Cruise; few if any single entities possess the full capabilities to design, develop, engineer, manufacture, test and sell. These arrangements are constantly in flux as companies leapfrog each other in technology, who is leading today is a follower tomorrow. There will be new companies, mergers, buy-outs, closing, and folding of companies as the AV field continues to rapidly develop.
We will continue watching the growth and development of AV technology across the globe. While the pandemic may have slowed progression, it certainly has not thwarted the industry’s forward movement. As most industry experts believe, 2038 is the magical year when Level-5 is considered a reality, is just 18 years away.