Driverless cars may reduce U.S. auto sales 40% by 2040

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Self-driving cars have become a frequent topic for auto executives as the technology for the vehicles emerges. The market for autonomous technology will grow to $42 billion by 2025 and self-driving cars may account for a quarter of global auto sales by 2035, according to Boston Consulting Group. By 2017, partially autonomous vehicles will become available in “large numbers,” the firm said in a report in April.

But self-driving cars may cause U.S. auto sales to drop about 40 percent in the next 25 years because of shared autonomous vehicles, forcing mass-market producers to slash output, a Barclays Plc analyst said. Vehicle ownership rates may fall by almost half as families move to having just one car. Driverless cars will travel twice as many miles as current autos because they will transport each family member during the day. Sharing autonomous vehicles, acting like a robot-taxi, could push that even lower. Every shared vehicle on the road would displace nine traditional autos, and each pooled shared vehicle would take the place of as many as 18, according to the report.

Automakers are working to overhaul their business models for a world where mobility is being redefined as most of the global population crowds into large megacities during the next two decades. Driverless cars that move in harmony may become essential to keep people and goods flowing safely and efficiently. Embracing the disruption may be the only way to keep pace with alternative forms of transportation competing with automobiles in this changing world. “While extreme, a historical precedent exists. Horses once filled the many roles that cars fill today, but as the automobile came along, the population of horses dropped sharply.”

Good (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2015-05-21 07:42 (#9EWJ)

There are too many cars polluting the skies and requiring vast quantities of landscape to be paved for roads and parking. Also of note, driverless cars won't just impact US automakers, they will impact all automakers. There will likely be a short lived (in the 10ish year time span) boost in sales as everyone gets theirs, then people will just relax and enjoy. As an avid driver, I'm only worried (and even then, just slightly) that driverful cars will at some point be banned.

As a side note, I expect driverless cars to last longer than driverful cars due to the cars always driving smoothly and the potential for the car to drive itself to the mechanic for maintenance.
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