20 Million Autonomous Cars By 2035 Says IHS Automotive

UPDATE July 1, 2016.  A representative for IHS Automotive has contacted us to say their forecast is for 20 million autonomous vehicles a year by 2035, not just a total of 20 million manufactured between now and then.

IHS Automotive predicts there will be more than 20,000,000 autonomous vehicles on the road by 2035. That’s a substantial increase from prior estimates. The difference is attributable to a marked increase in research and development by manufacturers, suppliers, and technology companies recently, as well as activity within various regulatory environments.

Autonomous car

IHS says the US will lead the world in initial deployment and early adoption of autonomous vehicles. Japan will be close behind as it gears up to host the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. “Global sales of autonomous vehicles will reach nearly 600,000 units in 2025,” said Egil Juliussen, director of research at IHS Automotive. “Our new forecast reflects a 43% compound annual growth rate between 2025 and 2035 – a decade of substantial growth, as driverless and self-driving cars alike are more widely adopted in all key global automotive markets,” he said.

The latest analysis takes into account new mobility solutions such as ride sharing and car sharing programs and includes a number of factors, including development of new core technologies and the amount of R&D projects under way. It factors in discussions and initiatives by manufacturers with suppliers and ride sharing companies, technology company initiatives, and increased investment in mobility by other entities as well.

The forecast predicts there will be several thousand autonomous cars deployment in the U.S. in 2020. That number will grow to nearly 4.5 million vehicles by 2035, IHS says.  The forecast in China is for more than 5.7 million autonomous vehicles by 2035. China will be the single largest market for autonomous technology, according to analysts. The sheer volume of vehicles expected to be sold there as well as consumer demand for new technologies will drive growth, with more upside possible as regulators assess the potential of autonomous mobility to address safety and environmental concerns.

In western Europe, the forecast predicts about 3,000,000 autonomous cars will by 2035 and another 1.2 million vehicles in Eastern Europe. IHS Automotive also forecasts more than 1 million vehicles with some level of autonomy in the Middle East and Africa in 2035. Another 1.2 million self-driving cars will populate roadways in Japan and Korea.

There may be a few hiccups along the way. Challenges to the widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles include issues centering on software reliability and cyber security, Both are showing improvements as technology evolves and the industry recognizes the threat. The other concern is that a hodgepodge of rules and regulations will spring up in various markets, inhibiting the ability of companies to sell autonomous cars to the public. The technological challenges can be managed. Political hurdles may prove harder to overcome.

Source: Electric Cars Report   Photo credit: Nissan

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.