This is just the start of the autonomous vehicle revolution
More than $ 2.7 billion has been invested in the self-driving car sector, according to the report “Autonomous driving: between science fiction and reality»Produced by the consulting firm Oliver Wyman. At the head of the most dynamic countries in this area, the United States alone has concentrated nearly half (48%) of investments. Asia (China, India) and Israel are also in the race, with more than $ 500 million invested in each of the regions.
Attractive in the eyes of investors, a strategic priority for many car manufacturers, the autonomous car is only in its infancy, if we are to believe the analysis of the consulting firm. He has in fact built a matrix presenting 5 stages of vehicle autonomy, from the first assisted driving modules (level 1) to 100% autonomous vehicles (level 5).
Today, the automotive industry is situated between “assisted driving” (level 1) and “partial automation” (level 2). Concretely, this means that the driver must continually follow the decisions made by the system.
A very attractive market
At the origin of innovations in the sector, we naturally find car manufacturers, such as Ford and Toyota, and their suppliers such as Valeo or Continental. Tech companies, such as Google, Uber and Tesla, are also interested in the autonomous car market, competing head-on with historical players.
And these new players are not skimping on the means to find a place in the market. Between 2013 and 2014, Telsa more than doubled its investments in R&D, reaching 465 million euros in 2014. In the first half of 2015, Uber invested nearly 95 million dollars, against 66 million dollars for the whole of 2014.
Another proof of the attractiveness of the market is the acceleration in the number of companies that have been created in the sector since 2010. In fact, 8 companies were launched in the field in 2011, 20 in 2013 and 2014, and 25 in 2015 according to the consulting company.
Towards a progressive development of 100% autonomy
Although there is a lot of enthusiasm for the sector, including from the media who are keenly interested in transportation innovations, reaching levels 4 and 5 of vehicle automation is where the maximum value is achieved. will be created for users, the study authors point out.
New mobility concepts, new requirements in terms of urban infrastructure: so many effects expected from 100% autonomous vehicles. A scenario that will not become reality until 2035, when more than a quarter (28%) of vehicles sold should reach level 4 of autonomy.