AVs (autonomous vehicles) and EVs (electric vehicles) are speeding on to the scene faster than ever before, powered by new technologies. Still, there are many looming questions to be considered before the majority of drivers are behind these computers on wheels.
When will cars mostly drive themselves—and what technologies are still needed in order to make this come to fruition? What exactly will catapult electric vehicles to more mainstream adoption? Perhaps, most importantly, what does the consumer think about all of this and when will they be ready to adopt these high-tech vehicles? Let’s unpack some of the biggest trends happening today in the automotive market.
The autonomous vehicle market is on pace for rather rapid growth. Allied Market Research suggests the market was valued at $76.13 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $2.16 trillion by 2030, which represents a growth rate of 40.1% from 2021 to 2030.
For this to come to fruition, it needs to rely on technology including AI (artificial intelligence), LiDAR (light detection and ranging), cameras to sense the environment, and more. Most self-driving systems create and maintain an internal map of their surroundings based on a wide array of sensors, such as RADAR. Different levels of autonomy include semi-autonomous that requires driver assistance to fully autonomous. And of course, the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) has the 6 levels of driving automation, which ranges from fully manual to fully autonomous.
Looking at another report, IDTechEx suggests the key to unlocking the future of autonomous vehicles is LiDAR, which is a remote sensing method that uses lasers to measure distances and creates detailed 3D maps of the environment. This specific market is anticipated to grow to $8.4 billion in 2033, driven by the increasing adoption of AVs and advanced driver assistance systems.
Still, there are many complications to overcome before we will see widespread adoption of AVs, including heightening security and addressing any consumer concerns. With this in mind, what do consumers think about the rise of autonomous vehicles?
A new survey from Rerev sheds some light on the public’s attitude toward self-driving cars and AI in the automotive industry. Today, roughly 70% of respondents felt uncomfortable riding in self-driving cars and 60% expressed being very unlikely to purchase a self-driving car within the next five years. After a decade of talking connectivity, you would think consumers would be less uptight. But not according to this research. I really have some questions about who the researchers polled? While I am not questioning the validity of the study, I am concerned about what this says about the speed of innovation.
According to the study, the biggest concerns include: 70% believe these cars are less safe than human-driven ones; (have they seen the stats on distracted driving); and 80% expressed worries about the potential for cars to be hacked; and trust in AI technology varied among respondents, with 30% expressing complete trust, 40% slight trust, and 30% lacking trust in AI technology.
Another potential hurdle to consider is liability. Roughly 55% of respondents were uncertain about assigning blame for accidents involving self-driving cars, indicating a need for clearer guidelines and legal frameworks.
While technology continues to advance for AVs, there are still many societal trends to consider as we move forward into the new era of automotive.
Let’s turn our attention to electric vehicles now. I have reported significant growth in this market in recent years. The IEA (Intl. Energy Agency) says sales of EVs doubled in 2021 from the previous year to a new record of 6.6 million. Back in 2012, just 120,000 electric cars were sold worldwide. In 2021, more than that many are sold each week. This trend is set to continue in the years ahead as well.
Fortune Business Insights suggests the U.S. electric vehicle market size was $24.03 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from $28.24 billion in 2021 to $137.43 billion in 2028, which represents a compound annual growth rate of 25.4% from 2021 to 2028. Such factors driving this growth are government policies and stringent vehicle emission regulations.
Now, some companies are making big moves that are going to push this market forward even faster than it has accelerated in the past. Many of the large automakers such as GM (General Motors) and Ford Motor are partnering with Tesla to use the company’s charging network and technologies. They will begin installing a charging port used by Tesla in EVs starting in 2025.
This addresses one of the major hurdles the EV market currently faces: public charging stations. Tesla has successfully built out its own network. Looking to the future, for EVs to charge ahead, infrastructure will be key. This is certainly one trend we are all keeping an eye on.
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