The implementation of fully autonomous vehicles is expected to be a gradual introduction with multiple, interrelated safety technologies, according to new research from International Data Corp (IDC).
These capabilities will assist in the safety and efficient operations of new vehicles and move the market toward an increasingly autonomous future. IDC forecasts the number of vehicles capable of at least Level 1 autonomy will increase from 31.4 million units in 2019 to 54.2 million units in 2024, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5%.
Light duty or retrofitted vehicles during the 2020 to 2024 forecast period will have a specific level of vehicle autonomy, IDC said. The SAE levels of autonomy indicate the different types of autonomous functions that a vehicle has integrated and is classified as semi-autonomous or fully autonomous (see: A Primer to the 6 Levels of Autonomous Driving for more information).
"The pathway to increased vehicle autonomy will be largely built on gradual feature and capability advancements," said Matt Arcaro, research manager for next-generation automotive and transportation strategies at IDC. "Although SAE Level 4, full self-driving vehicles will capture media headlines and will deliver tremendous value to society, the impact of SAE Levels 1 and 2 vehicle growth over the forecast period remains too large to be ignored."
Currently, SAE Level 0 autonomous represents most units manufactured and this is the only autonomy level that will decline over the forecast period. The decline will come from the commitment from automotive OEMs to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and other technology that provide some degree of automation. As a result, IDC forecasts that 50% of all vehicles produced by 2024 will provide some degree of SAE Level 1-5 autonomy.
SAE Level 1 and 2 will represent the two largest areas of self-driving growth in the forecast period and are likely to receive the largest share in both investment and advancement. At these levels, drivers are in full operational control, but the technology helps to mitigate some of the risk and liability for both the vehicle and passengers.
Support for SAE Level 3 technology is expected to increase over the forecast period with deployment expected to increase in numbers in the outer years of the forecast.
Fully autonomous vehicles (or SAE Levels 4-5) will remain the revolutionary goal, IDC said, and development of these vehicles as well as customer trust and government regulations is expected to continue during the forecast. However, IDC does not expect any SAE Level 5 vehicles to be available worldwide during the period.
The full research can be found in IDC’s Worldwide Autonomous Vehicle Forecast, 2020–2024.