Berg Insight Report Predicts 71 Million Self-Driving Cars on the Road by 2030
If there’s a moment in time that we can point to and say, “This is when the self-driving movement officially began,” my pick would be August 2016 when Uber put into commission its first-ever fleet of autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh.
At the moment, fully autonomous vehicles are not available to consumers. Sure, there are certain features already baked into myriad models on the road that could very easily make present-day vehicles autonomous—Tesla is certainly leading the way in that category. But something like the Google Car is still years away from being available for purchase.
And, anyway, headlines like this one make me believe that the technology itself still has a long way to go until it’s actually ready for mass consumerization. Not to mention the countless legal hoops companies building these vehicles will have to go through and whatnot.
All that aside, reports are already coming out that predict just how widespread driverless car adoption will be over the next decade or so. One such guesstimate from Business Insider suggests that there will be 10 million self-driving cars on the road by 2020. At question here might be BI’s definition of “self-driving” car—a chart in the article simply says “cars with self-driving features.” Still, that’s an impressive figure considering the concept itself was reserved for science fiction films until just a few years ago.
Then there’s the latest self-driving cars report from Berg Insight that dropped this week. The Swedish M2M/IoT market research firm predicts a compound annual growth rate in this category of 62 percent between 2020 and 2030. Shipments will go from just a few hundred thousand in 2020 to 24 million units by 2030. That estimate, per Berg Insight, means there would be some 71 million self-driving cars on the road. Again, the definition of self-driving car should be expounded.
“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,” the firm explains in a statement. “Furthermore, several sophisticated technologies must come together to enable a car to safely drive by itself and autonomous cars will therefore roll out in incremental phases. In particular, software for interpreting sensor information and managing the driving logic is key to the development of self-driving cars.”
Long story short, it’s similar to the BI definition.
Again though, the estimate is a tremendously important one. First of all, that 71 million would represent roughly 28 percent of all cars on the road. Further, It shows how quickly this technology, which still isn’t even fully matured at this point, will take off. For electronics retailers who dabble in the automotive space, what this means is that they need to ensure that they’re already working on their connected car strategy. With driverless cars, the ways consumers use technology in the car is going to change drastically, which means they’ll have to be marketed to differently. Perhaps there are whole new tech segments that open up as “drivers” no longer have to pay all that attention to the road in front of them. Who knows?
I’m still up in the air on how confident I am that I will be able comfortably hand over the controls of a moving vehicle to a computer. But if these reports bear fruit, it’s clear that consumers will feel very differently in a little over a decade from now.