The potential of the autonomous vehicle industry
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Is the future just around the corner?
Throughout its history, the automotive industry has proven to be one of the most dynamic, adapting to the needs of each era. Looking to the future, this industry is not lagging and maintains its bet on what seems to be the next step, that is, the development of autonomous vehicles.
Opinions on this subject are diverse, with some experts claiming that there are still many years to go before we will be able to see these driverless vehicles on the road daily. Others say that this is a reality that is just around the corner.
The truth is that many companies are already investing in the research and development of these vehicles. This is practically a nascent industry, with a whole related and branched production chain, and with all the potential to grow and consolidate.
While the rise of autonomous cars has gained prominence over the last two decades, it is true that their beginnings date back to the 1990s. The adoption of autonomous vehicles could have an accelerated growth during this decade.
Although when we talk about autonomous vehicles we immediately think of the automotive industry, we must stop to think about the fact that, just as the automotive industry traditionally involves a wide and varied production chain, in the case of autonomous vehicles, their development also depends on the development of other industries, also nascent and booming, such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, the development of the 5G network, among others.
In this sense, not only traditional automotive companies have decided to embark on a journey into the next era, but there are also a whole series of new participants involved in this production chain.
An example of this are software developers for the design of routes, manufacturers of sensors needed for these cars to have a 360º perception, designers of urban intelligent infrastructure networks, necessary for the connectivity that these vehicles will require among many other attachments that today’s conventional cars do not require.
The venture into the future initially attracted many companies, approximately 163 in 2018, however, already by 2020, this number has been reduced to approximately 72 companies.
On the other hand, it is worth noting that the reduction in the number of participants goes in the opposite direction to the capital that this sector raises year by year, attracting more and more investors’ attention.
The plans of the major automakers, in this sense, have a future investment projection ranging from 2,600 million dollars to 35,000 million dollars, thinking in terms ranging from 2025 to 2035.
However, it is estimated that between 2023 and 2029 in the major economies of the planet, the number of fully connected vehicles will reach 50% of the total in circulation.
This fact also favors progress in the development of autonomous vehicles, as it will facilitate that, around 2035, the percentage of autonomous vehicles that are in the most advanced stage of autonomy (L4) in regions such as the European Union or China will reach between 14% and 15%.
The potential is very large and the time to reach it will be as fast as the progress of the other emerging technologies that are already a reality today.
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