IoT market research firm Berg Insight predicts a sharp rise in the sale of autonomous cars over the next decade.
Swedish market research firm Berg Insight has predicted that the widespread adoption of autonomous cars might be upon us sooner than expected. According to the firm’s latest research report (fees apply), the first autonomous cars will hit roads in 2020. After that, the number of new registrations for autonomous cars is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 62 percent, reaching 24 million annually units by 2030.
Continuing on that upward trend, Berg Insight predicts that the total number of driverless cars on global roads will reach 71 million by the end of 2030.
In a statement, Berg Insight highlighted that the prediction rests on a number of technologies developing and coming together to create safe and efficient autonomous systems.
“It is important to note that autonomous cars are not a single innovation; rather this technology can be seen as a continuum of various levels of autonomy where the amount of driver involvement is the main differentiating factor. Furthermore, several sophisticated technologies must come together to enable a car to safely drive by itself. Autonomous cars will therefore roll out in incremental phases.”
Autonomous cars will make us forget ‘to keep our eyes on the road’
Speaking with Internet of Business, Ran Berger, CEO of Flat Rock Technology, pointed out that Berg Insight’s predictions shouldn’t necessarily be a surprise given the technology in place and being tested at the moment. The issue he sees as the most prohibitive is cost.
“There’s a lot of hype about the potential of autonomous cars, as well as a huge amount of money being invested in the technology. But several hurdles remain to be surmounted before mass adoption can take place”, he said.
“The most simple [issue] is cost. Until this technology is cheaper to roll out than the traditional vehicles we’re driving today, we won’t see mass adoption. It’s the same with much-hyped Virtual Reality (VR) – the tech is there, but we need to make it cheaper and more widely accessible before we can start to see usage soar.”
A second hurdle is insurance, according to Berger.
“It’s something the tech industry has been grappling with across a range of different areas, as the pace of innovation continues to outstrip updates to legislation,” said Berger.
“Insurers haven’t got their heads around where liability falls when it comes to driverless cars. If my driverless car hits yours, am I or the car manufacturer responsible? Can someone be prosecuted for falling asleep at the wheel if they’re in a driverless car? So, legislatively and insurance wise, there’s some serious work to do.”
Autonomous cars will change the way we think about car ownership
Speaking to Internet of Business, Lorne Daniel, tech analyst at finnCap, suggested that autonomous cars will lead to a fall in car ownership, as driving becomes a part of the on-demand economy. “Your car is in use 5% of the time you own it, the rest it is a deteriorating asset cluttering up your drive, road or a car park,” said Daniel.
Subscription services are likely to become increasingly popular, and we will simply select what we need and when.
“Robots crash far less than humans – they are good drivers, don’t tire, use mobiles, drink or take drugs,” he said.
Daniel also anticipated a better road system for all as a result of increased autonomous car usage.
“The roads will become a lot quicker. Cars talking to each other means they can zip around through intersections, crisscrossing neatly and timing their flow smoothly so traffic jams also disappear in general.”
“Of course they’ll always be some who want to drive [manually]; in developed countries they will be introducing human uncertainty and error into this perfect robot world, likely causing accidents. If it is allowed at all then there will be a massive insurance premium!”