U.S market fastest to adopt autonomous driving, predicts IHS

June 07, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
By 2035, about 76 million autonomous vehicles will be sold worldwide to reach a sales volume of 21 million units in 20135 alone, predicts market researcher IHS Automotive. However, their distribution will be quite uneven: The early adopters will be found in the US and in Japan. China will be the biggest market. And Europe? European carmakers have the honor of technology leadership, albeit only in certain market segments.

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