Self-driving car sales to reach 95 million per year by 2035

Autonomous cars will represent 75% of all light-duty vehicle sales in two decades, according to Navigant

A new report is claiming that by 2035, more than 95 million self-driving cars will be sold worldwide every year.

The report, by Navigant Research, offers an examination of the emerging market for advanced driver assistance features leading to semi-autonomous and autonomous driving.

Navigant Research's report forecasts that autonomous vehicles will gradually gain traction in the market over the coming two decades and by 2035, sales of autonomous vehicles will reach 95.4 million annually, representing 75% of all light-duty vehicle sales.

The industry consensus is that autonomous driving cars will be available over the next five or so years.

Navigant's report includes information on the leading vehicle manufacturers and suppliers along with an analysis of what will encourage or stifle sales of self-driving cars. The report also includes forecasts for revenue and sales volumes, segmented by region, through 2035.

The report also reviews the core driver assistance technologies that make self-driving vehicles possible.

The technology for operating self-driving cars will be ready for the roads in short order. Last year, Google co-founder and special projects director Sergey Brin said self-driving cars will be a reality for "ordinary people" in less than five years. Among auto makers , General Motors plans to introduce a semi-automated Cadillac driving system in 2015.

"The Google cars use on-board cameras, lasers, radar and other sensor equipment to monitor road conditions and operate themselves. Proponents say the use of computers and other equipment will make them safer than having humans drive, since people sometimes make errors, lose concentration, fall asleep or drive drunk," Navigant's report stated.

However, significant legal and legislative hurdles remain, according to Navigant, not technological ones. "Advances in computing power and software development mean that features such as high-end image processing and sensor fusion are ready for production. The hurdles that remain to be solved before rollout to the public are those of liability and legislation," the report stated.

Last fall, California passed legislation that created the legal grounds and safety standards for testing and operating autonomous cars on its roadways.

This article, Self-driving car sales to reach 95 million per year by 2035, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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