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Self-driving market a reality in the US by 2026

The research company ranked Waymo as the most promising player in the driverless car sector

Sales of fully autonomous vehicles will reach five million in the US by 2026
Sales of fully autonomous vehicles will reach five million in the US by 2026

Annual sales of fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) in the US is expected to soar in the next eight years, propelled by fierce competition from the likes of Google subsidiary Waymo, a new study finds.


According to Juniper Research’s Autonomous Vehicles & ADAS: Readiness Index, Player Positioning 2018-2026, sales will reach five million in the US by 2026, making the self-driving market a reality. One in four of all new vehicles sold by then is expected to be driverless.


In comparison, the global market will account for 20 million new AVs sold during the same year.

The research found that the market adoption of AV technologies is set to ramp up in the future, driven by:

  • Heavy investments from Volvo, Audi, Daimler and GM; positioning themselves as mobility services firms
  • Governments enabling firms to test AVs on their roads and invest in smart city infrastructure
  • Drivers becoming accustomed to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

At the head of the “five most promising players” in the driverless car sector, identified in the report, is Waymo (Google) and Volvo followed by Tesla, Daimler and Audi.


The research found that Google is further ahead than traditional manufacturers in terms of technology and miles tested. Waymo is set to be integrated into smart city strategies for public transportation and could licence its expertise to other OEMs; threatening the role of the tier 1 suppliers, the report stated.


Players were scored on a range of factors including development time, public trials, miles tested, fleet size, and consumer awareness.


Juniper estimates that 45 million on-road vehicles will have some form of ADAS functionality by the end of 2018, with adoption reaching 100 million by 2020. Additionally, with luxury vehicles incorporating semi-autonomous technologies, such as the new Audi A8, the market will further evolve to full automation, while shifting its focus to delivering a complete driver experience.

“The introduction of fully autonomous technologies, with some vehicles no longer having steering wheels and pedals, will mean that the focus will shift from how drivers get from A-B to how the occupants use the journey time,” said Michael Larner, research author.


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