Market Overview

Autonomous Vehicle Sales to Surpass 33 Million Annually in 2040, Enabling New Autonomous Mobility in More Than 26 Percent of New Car Sales, IHS Markit Says


More than 33 million autonomous vehicles will be sold globally in 2040,
a substantial increase from the 51,000 units forecast for the first year
of significant volume in 2021, according to the latest autonomous
vehicle sales forecast
from business information provider IHS

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IHS Markit: Autonomous Vehicle Sales by Region, 2020-2040 (Graphic: Business Wire)

IHS Markit: Autonomous Vehicle Sales by Region, 2020-2040 (Graphic: Business Wire)

Key market dynamics influencing growth are accounted for in the latest
analysis from IHS Markit. The rapid convergence of autonomous driving
and mobility services such as ride-hailing is a central driver of early
deployment and growth. The 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. Mobility-as-a-Service will first
bring this 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, Ph.D. and 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."

Significant ongoing 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 IHS Markit analysis reflects
partnerships and ecosystems forming around technology and services that
will help the industry address the complex challenges around the
evolution of autonomous mobility. All of these are contributing factors
to the forecast, which also incorporates a new demand-driven
methodology, as the industry shifts from thinking exclusively about unit
sales to usage per distance or time. The forecast also includes a
breakdown of Levels 4 and 5 of the industry-standard Society of
Automotive Engineers Levels of Automation.

"Diversity of choice in personal mobility and autonomous driving
technologies are both evolving more quickly than ever, but their
convergence will have the greatest impact," said Jeremy Carlson,
principal automotive analyst at IHS Markit. "Autonomous mobility
services can deliver newfound personal freedom to the young, old,
disabled and others without reliable transportation for everyday needs"
he added, "but the benefits don't have to stop there. 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."

Additionally, an increasing number of governments around the world
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.

United States first to deploy autonomous mobility

The U.S. market will see the first autonomous vehicle sales in the
world, the IHS Markit forecast says, 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.

China leads in total volume, driven by mobility services

Mobility services have taken hold in many Chinese cities already, and
driverless variants are expected to maintain popularity with consumers.
Additionally, the automotive and technology industries are aggressively
closing the gap in key sectors including autonomous driving and
artificial intelligence. 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.

European markets remain strong in ownership of autonomous vehicles

European regulations are an obstacle to the same ride-hailing services
that will drive initial deployment in the U.S., but European markets are
especially strong in technology-rich luxury brands. As a result,
according to the forecast, 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.

Other global markets see late deployment and low adoption

A variety of factors will limit adoption of autonomous vehicles in other
global markets, according to IHS Markit, including the presence and
strength of the local automotive industry, regulations governing
autonomous driving and/or mobility services including ride-hailing, and
the complexity of local driving conditions. While 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. In 2040, IHS Markit forecasts autonomous vehicles sales
in other global markets to reach nearly 6.3 million per year combined,
compared to more than 27.4 million between the U.S., China and Europe.

"Mobility-as-a-Service is a boon to autonomous driving, and it will help
prove and improve the technologies while allowing the industry to
reimagine the relationship between the car, the driver and the user
experience," Carlson said.

Juliussen added, "As operational areas expand, miles traveled and the
business opportunity increase considerably. Business decisions — battery
electric vehicle versus hybrid, how to deploy cyber security, data
privacy and monetization — will become even bigger differentiators than
they are today."

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