Features
4 Jan 18

Self-drive sales to hit 33 million by 2040

By 2040, annual autonomous-vehicle sales will surpass 33 million units worldwide, predicts IHS Markit. That's a massive increase over the 51,000 units slated for 2021. 

The first autonomous vehicle volumes will hit markets in 2019 - mainly via driverless mobility services, the business information provider predicts. 

Noticeable volume
By 2021, when private ownership of autonomous vehicles enters the picture, sales will achieve a noticeable volume for the first time. Sales will then increase exponentially: by 2025, nearly 1 million units will be sold, both to shared fleets and individual owners, says IHS Markit.  

But despite growing private ownership of autonomous vehicles, the main growth driver will be the accelerating convergence between autonomous driving and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions such as ride-hailing, which will continue to drive subsequent growth.

Early adoption
While the U.S. will lead the world in early adoption of autonomous driving, Europe and China will start adding considerable volume from 2021. Self-drive tech will be adopted first for MaaS before it will be adopted for private, individual use. 

The U.S. will deploy the first autonomous-vehicle sales, thanks to industry-friendly regulation. Total U.S. volumes are expected to reach 7.4 million units by 2040. 

Regulatory obstacles
However, driven by mobility services, volumes in China will soon surpass those in the U.S. and are expected to reach an annual sales volume of 14.5 million units by 2040. 

With regulations an obstacle to early adoption in Europe, the region is expected to lead the market in personally-owned autonomous vehicles, with total sales amounting to 5.5 million units by 2040. 

Other global markets see late deployment and low adoption. In 2040, IHS Markit forecasts autonomous vehicles sales in other global markets to reach nearly 6.3 million per year combined, compared to more than 27.4 million between the U.S., China and Europe.

Authored by: Frank Jacobs