New research highlights possibility of 50 million self-driving vehicles by 2026

Juniper Research has released a report exploring the autonomous vehicles market, predicting the number of autonomous vehicles will exceed 50 million by the end of 2026.

Over 10 million are expected to be in the US and 15 million in the Far East and China.

Juniper evaluated regulatory policies, trials being implemented, the digital and city infrastructure and the participation of local technology firms and organisations, in ranking the readiness of some 20 countries in adopting autonomous vehicles.

The US and Singapore lead other countries including Japan, the UK, South Korea and the Netherlands in the firm’s readiness index.

Research author Michael Larner said: “The US has all the key ingredients for autonomous vehicles to operate at scale. Federal and local authorities supporting AV trials, Silicon Valley and universities spawn firms that can deliver the technology, many local competitors are introducing driverless technologies plus the car remains vital for commuting and leisure travel.”

At a global scale, factors expected to drive an increase in adoption include:

  • Increasing smart city mobility schemes
  • The emergence of mobility-as-a-service concepts to soften demand for vehicle ownership and improve driving safety
  • The establishment of vehicle-to-everything communications

Juniper predicts 2019 will be the milestone year with the US and China introducing new policies and guidelines for autonomous vehicles which are expected to result in OEMs introducing new driverless technologies to newer vehicle models.

The US and China are expected to account for 65% of the globe’s total base of autonomous vehicles by 2019.

The release of the study findings comes at a time the pace of adoption of smart vehicle technologies including autonomous, electric vehicles, vehicle to grid and vehicle to everything is increasing under smart city and utility projects.

Utilities are for instance, trialing the use of  vehicle to everything and electric vehicles as energy storage systems whereby EV owners can store electricity during times when demand is low and integrate into the main grid for reliability during peak periods.

Companies are also using vehicle to everything technologies to optimise building energy management.