Growing safety concerns about driving and traffic accidents, plus the recognition by national governments of the apparent advantages of driverless vehicles, will accelerate the deployment of new services that are assisted by the Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure.
ABI Research anticipates that semi-autonomous systems will lead the market over the next decade, with SAE level 2 and 3 systems accounting for 86 percent of autonomous vehicles shipping in 2026. Higher levels of autonomy will gain traction quickly, representing just under one-third of autonomous vehicles shipping in 2030.
Autonomous Vehicle Market Development
"Driverless cars will transform the way mobility is consumed, bringing environmental, societal and convenience advantages to the end user," says James Hodgson, analyst at ABI Research. "It also represents a fundamental disruption to the business model that dominated the automotive market for almost one century."
ABI now believes that OEMs can prosper by pursuing semi-autonomous operation, maintaining the importance of the driving experience. However, recent announcements from BMW, Ford, Renault-Nissan, and Tesla signal that OEMs are looking to introduce higher levels of autonomy by 2021, and are also planning to transition to automated mobility providers.
Both Ford and Renault-Nissan launched smart mobility divisions to build on the existing trend of OEM or ride-share partnerships and investments. The divisions also provide a platform for these brands to research and implement autonomous and connected technologies.
Meanwhile, the recently announced Tesla Network details how the brand intends to facilitate peer-to-peer autonomous car sharing, and how participation will impact consumer car ownership costs.
The decision by Tesla to withdraw the level 2 Autopilot system in favor of Enhanced Autopilot, and eventually deep learning-based autonomous functionality, will be the most concrete example of the shift in industry attitudes toward low level semi-autonomous driving.
Outlook for New Technology Adoption
"The spread of low-speed Traffic Jam Assist systems to more of the mass market, in tandem with the increasing combination of longitudinal and lateral assistance on highways, will see semi-autonomous vehicles retaining their dominant market share for some years," concludes Hodgson.
The quasi-universal 2021 target date for the rollout of more highly automated system nonetheless represents a significant acceleration in the autonomous technology market.