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Around 21 million to hit the roads by 2025, forcasters predict

The number of self-driving cars could approach 20 million by 2025 after the sector experiences “take off”, industry forecasters have predicted.

A study compiled by Juniper Research suggests that Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) such as adaptive cruise control and automated braking already “serve to prepare drivers for the psychological change from the role of driving a car to operating a driverless car”.

Consumer adoption of the technology is expected to take place from 2021 but with around 20 million autonomous cars expected to be on the roads four years later, self-driving vehicles would still only represent around one per cent of all vehicles.

A spokesman for Juniper Research said: “Driven by increased safety and convenience for drivers, development has progressed to live trials with North America and West Europe set to become the first to witness driverless cars in use on the road.

Juniper Research’s study – entitled Autonomous Vehicles: Adoption, Regulation & Business Models 2015-2025 – finds that although the market has progressed to live trials, a discernible monetisation strategy has not become evident.

The spokesman added: “Stakeholders are currently investigating multiple business models with manufacturers expected to engage in product licensing, self-production or open sourcing the systems.”

Juniper Research ranked the top 5 most promising players in the driverless car sector, after rating them on: live trials; miles tested on the road; technology development; project scale and scope; future potential and market opportunities.

The results were:

1.            Google

2.            Volvo

3.            Daimler

4.            Tesla

5.            Apple

The research noted that concerns over the decision making capabilities of these systems have been raised and questions have been asked about the decisions autonomous vehicles would take when presented with the Trolley Problem, where the autonomous car will be forced to choose between two disastrous outcomes.

The Juniper study argued that stakeholders must collaborate to ensure a minimum level of safety for those in the hands of autonomous driving systems.

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