North America leads the charge, dominating two-thirds of global market.
The global driverless automobile market is expected to grow tenfold in the next decade, according to market research firm ReportLinker. A study released in February revealed that the autonomous industry, which manufactured roughly 6.6 million driverless units in 2017 could produce up to 67.5 million driverless vehicles by 2028.
Much of the activity will be in North America, which currently boasts a market share of 62.51 percent. Projections indicate that automakers on the continent will continue to dominate the market for at least the next 10 years.
The study determined that demand for greater car safety is causing the industry to respond in kind, with customers wanting such features as adaptive cruise control, drowsiness monitoring, lane departure warnings and traffic jam assistance. And while an entirely autonomous vehicle might be the ultimate goal for most of the major players in the market, that won’t be happening for a while. The research paper predicts that the percentage of autonomous vehicles that will still require driver assistance will comprise nearly 90 percent of the market. Fully autonomous vehicles capable in running on any kind of road condition will likely remain relegated to robo-taxi status in the next 10 years, such as those being tested by Uber, Waymo and other competitors.
Chances are the development of autonomous vehicles will be developed in tandem with eco-friendly technology being implemented today. Safety feature demand, which has spurred on further work in driverless technology, still trails the need for more environmentally-friendly cars. Nowhere is this further tied together than with government requirements for better infrastructure to foster more efficient public transportation, as well as higher emission controls.
Results compiled by ReportLinker are roughly on par with a similar study conducted in 2018 by Allied Market Research, which predicted the autonomous industry would be worth nearly $557 billion by 2026. Similarly, the big drive behind that prognosis was a need to reduce human-error accidents and lower harmful emissions.
However, the Allied study indicated that an element of fear of riding in fully-autonomous vehicles might stall the momentum of those sales, as evidenced by incidents during testing. In some cases, faulty software resulted in a number of accidents, including one that resulted in the death of a pedestrian in Arizona.
Reliability was one disadvantage highlighted by ReportLinker, as well as other issues such as lack of road infrastructure to support autonomous vehicles, legalities in countries that haven’t yet legally considered driverless cars, and vulnerability to acts of cyber crime.