A new report from the firm IHS Markit predicts that more than 33 million self driving or autonomous vehicles will be sold every year (worldwide) by 2040 — representing a huge surge in market interest in a relatively short period of time, as only around 51,000 units a year are predicted to be sold in 2021, according to the report.
Also noteworthy is that the report predicts that autonomous vehicles will comprise more than 26% of new car sales by 2040 — with the rapid rise of self-driving “robo taxis” like the Volvo/Uber joint venture being named as one of the primary drivers of the expected rapid market growth.
Volvo + Uber Working Together on Robo Taxi Project
“The first autonomous vehicle volumes — beyond retrofit test vehicles — will arrive in 2019 through driverless mobility services,” noted Egil Juliussen, the director of automotive tech 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.”
If GM’s recent comments concerning the launch of fully autonomous taxis in select markets (accompanying the release of promo pics of the steering-wheel-less vehicle in question) are to be taken at face value, then they match the timeline discussed, above.
Of course, there is always the possibility of course that the recent promo pics released by GM imply nothing solid and are just a PR gimmick, as some have implied. You can check out an excerpt from the official press release, below, and decide for yourselves.
“The US 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 US volumes of autonomous vehicles are expected to reach 7.4 million units per year in 2040.