IDTechEx Report: Autonomous cars could accout for 4 trillion miles of road travel by 2040

  • November 26, 2019
  • News
IDTechEx Report: Autonomous cars could accout for 4 trillion miles of road travel by 2040
IDTechEx Report: Autonomous cars could accout for 4 trillion miles of road travel by 2040

November 26, 2019 - Autonomous driving is shifting the existing automotive supply chain from the traditional system of OEMs and suppliers to a collaborative ecosystem comprising of OEMs, mobility service providers, software and hardware solution providers, and infrastructure providers. IDTechEx has recently seen competitors joining hands and forming some unlikely-sounding alliances to reduce the cost of autonomous driving development, as well as to share resources and capabilities. In July 2019, BMW Group signed a long-term strategic cooperation with rival company Daimler AG that begins with bringing Level 4 capability to market in the mid-2020s. The long-term collaboration aims to extend to encompass a scalable platform for autonomous driving, where they can share components, validation efforts and other competencies.

Autonomous driving technologies have the potential to disrupt our future mobility mode. Autonomous cars could liberate people from driving tasks and enhance road safety and efficiency. Autonomous driving will also improve travel convenience for those who are unable to drive. On the other hand, autonomous driving would accelerate the arrival of peak car, in other words, the end of mass private-car ownership. Auto OEMs are changing their business models from just car manufacturers to mobility service providers to capture more profit. Geely, for example, claims that, by 2025, 1/3 of all Volvo cars will be autonomous, and they will be not only a car manufacturer but also a mobility service provider. Mobility services enabled by autonomous driving technologies, which allows fleet operators to get rid of the biggest operation cost – the human driver, will offer a cheaper alternative to purchasing and owning a private car. In the next two decades, mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) will grow rapidly to meet the increasing travel demand and, in the meantime, gradually replace private driving, according to IDTechEx’s latest report, titled “Autonomous Cars and Robotaxis 2020-2040”. IDTechEx forecasts that, in a moderate scenario, shared autonomous cars could account for up to 4 trillion miles traveled on the road – about 30% of the total travel demand – by 2040, and global passenger car sales are expected to peak in 2031.

Autonomous driving requires a full technology stack of hardware, such as sensors and computing platforms, as well as non-hardware components including AI software and HD maps, which are completely different from the traditional automotive approach. IDTechex’s new report offers an in-depth analysis of key-enabling technologies including lidars, radars, cameras, AI software, HD maps, teleoperation, cybersecurity, and 5G and V2X. IDTechEx forecasts that the autonomous driving system market (the hardware and software that make the cars drive themselves) will be over $170 million annually by 2040. The revenue from the sales of autonomous cars (SAE Level 3+), as well as mobility services provided, will be worth $2.5 trillion annually by 2040. 

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