Here’s How Autonomous Car Sales Will Accelerate in Next Two Decades

Global sales of autonomous vehicles will reach nearly 21 million vehicles by 2035, a substantial increase from previous estimates, according to a forecast from the automobile industry information firm IHS Automotive.

By 2025, there will be about 600,000 autonomous vehicles on roads around the world, a number that will grow substantially every year between 2025 and 2035, the report says.

In the U.S., there will be several thousand autonomous vehicles on the road in 2020, a number that the IHS forecasts predicts will grow to nearly 4.5 million vehicles by 2035.

The uptick in the expected sales numbers is driven by recent research and development by automotive original equipment manufacturing, supplier and technology companies that are investing in this area, according to IHS.

IHS Automotive says its new forecast is also based on recent developments and investments in this sector of the market, as well as activity within various regulatory environments.

Growth Period 2025-2035

The United States will lead the world in early adoption of autonomous vehicles, while Japan will simultaneously ramp up industry coordination and investment ahead of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, IHS says.

While the forecast is for global sales of autonomous vehicles to reach nearly 600,000 units in 2025, Egil Juliussen, Ph.D. and director of research at IHS Automotive, said the new forecast also reflects a 43 percent compound annual growth rate between 2025 and 2035, which he terms “a decade of substantial growth as driverless and self-driving cars alike are more widely adopted in all key global automotive markets.”

The latest analysis takes into account a variety of factors influencing growth including ridesharing and car sharing programs, increasing investment in autonomy by OEMs, suppliers and technology companies, research and development centers underway and improved efficiencies that are expected to impact automotive technologies. The IHS analysis also considers various mobility trends around the world.

“Future mobility will connect and combine many different modes and technologies, and autonomous vehicles will play a central role,” said Jeremy Carlson, principal analyst at IHS Automotive.

IHS expects manufacturers to create entirely new vehicle segments in addition to adding autonomous capabilities to traditional vehicles. “Consumers gain new choices in personal mobility to complement mass transit, and these new choices will increasingly use battery electric and other efficient means of propulsion,” said Carlson.

U.S. to Lead

The U.S. market is expected to see the earliest deployment of autonomous vehicles as it works through challenges posed by regulation, liability and consumer acceptance. Deployment in the U.S. will begin with several thousand autonomous vehicles in 2020, which will grow to nearly 4.5 million vehicles by 2035. As in many other markets, a variety of use cases and business models are expected to develop around consumer demand for personal mobility.

IHS Automotive forecasts that despite a later start, the largest market, China, will see sales by 2035 of more than 5.7 million vehicles equipped with some level of autonomy.

Major markets in western Europe will maintain industry technology leadership through the premium segment, with a little more than 3 million autonomous vehicles expected to be sold in 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, with the potential for new and innovative business models and use cases.

In Japan and South Korea collectively, IHS Automotive forecasts indicate nearly 1.2 million vehicles will be enabled with some form of autonomous driving capability by 2035. Demographics and an affinity for technology and innovative solutions help both markets, as the Japanese auto industry unites to close the gap with U.S. and European rivals and as South Korea continues its development of world-class capabilities.

Source: IHS Automotive