Mobility services to help autonomous vehicle sales soar

Owing to their use in ride-sharing schemes and mobility services, autonomous vehicle sales are expected to surpass 33 million annually in 2040…

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Mobility services and ride-sharing are set to have a significant impact on autonomous vehicle sales, according to a forecast by IHS Markit.

The report revealed a substantial increase from the 51,000 units forecast to be sold in the first year (2021), now predicted to number 33 million autonomous vehicles sold in 2040.

The rapid progression of autonomous driving and mobility services, such as ride-hailing, is central to the early deployment and growth of autonomous vehicles. Mobility-as-a-Service will be the first step towards autonomy, bringing the technology to the masses before individual ownership takes flight. The United States will lead the initial deployment and early adoption of production autonomous vehicles, as early as 2019, while Europe and China are expected to begin from 2021 onward.

“The first autonomous vehicle volumes – beyond retrofit test vehicles – will arrive in 2019 through driverless mobility services,” said Egil Juliussen, Ph.D., Director of Automotive Technology Research at IHS Markit.

Mobility service providers and technology companies contribute to earlier deployment timelines, while dedicated mobility service brands contribute to higher volumes of autonomous vehicles in the forecast.

Jeremy Carlson, Principal Automotive Analyst at IHS Markit said: “Autonomous mobility services can deliver newfound personal freedom to the young, old, disabled and others”. Additionally, an increasing number of governments around the world are contemplating phasing out gas-powered vehicles in favour of hybrids and electric vehicles, improving the air quality of cities and surrounding areas.

The US market will see the first autonomous vehicle sales in the world, the IHS Markit forecast says, with the first uses in mobility service fleets, which will provide early hands-on experience with the technology and help reduce consumer scepticism. Announcements from General Motors, Waymo and Uber contribute to early projected mobility fleet volumes in 2019. In China, also mobility services have taken hold in many cities already and driverless variants are expected to maintain popularity with consumers.

“Mobility-as-a-Service is a boon to autonomous driving, and it will help prove and improve the technologies while allowing the industry to reimagine the relationship between the car, the driver and the user experience,” Carlson said.