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Rethink Technology Research

Self-driving cars: The death of the auto industry as we know it

Self-driving cars: The death of the auto industry as we know it

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This report is 38 pages long and concentrates in the following areas:

  • Autonomous Vehicles and the Internet of Things
  • The State of today’s vehicular industries
  • The Technology Powering Self-Driving Cars – A Quick Look
  • The V2X Ecosystem
  • Laws, Regulation, and Autonomous Vehicles
  • Private Vehicle-as-a-Service (VaaS) and Ride-Sharing

Autonomous vehicles are going to ravage the logistics and haulage industries, and as a result over the next 30 to 40 years, private vehicle ownership will plunge. This will force major consolidation between automakers who will fight over falling sales volumes.

This report talks us through the mechanisms of how private vehicle ownership in developed economies will fall off a cliff after 2030, and with plummeting direct-to-consumer sales, automakers will be forced to become service providers selling vehicles and maintenance to larger industrialized customers, buying fleets of autonomous cars for ride sharing.

Increasing urbanization in emerging economies will serve to strengthen commercial ride-sharing services, which are already taking off in developed economies – and these will become the main source of all consolidated automaker sales.

The combined revenue for the leading sixteen automakers in 2014 was around $1.51trillion. At that scale, even a small percentage shift in the market caused by autonomous cars can have a painful effect on the automakers.

With around 71m cars sold in 2014, the average revenue per vehicle was $22,293. Cars with technology to enable self-driving may initially sell for 5 times that price. But will decline over time.

Self-driving cars will be used more often, and need to sustain higher mileages over their lifetimes, and therefore need predictive and automatic servicing – which will create a whole new industry. But the cost per mile driven will fall dramatically.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 758,220 people are employed in general freight trucking, with another 493,870 in warehousing and storage, 457,010 as couriers and express delivery drivers, and 337,530 as specialized freight trucking. There are an additional 173,770 school and employee bus drivers, and 180,960 taxi drivers and chauffeurs.

In total, the Transportation and Material Moving Operations section of the US economy accounts for 9.54 million people, with a mean annual wage of $35,160 – accounting for an estimated wage bill of $335.3bn.

Autonomous vehicle systems could indicate a 50% reduction in that wage bill. Morgan Stanley estimates that the freight industry stands to save $168 billion annually, and that $70 billion of that will come from a reduced wage bill.

Market Projections

People who should read this report include: technology firms which wish to supply components for autonomous cars; financial organizations which fund car ownership; ride sharing services; commercial fleet owners; car manufacturers and their suppliers; in-vehicle service suppliers; car servicing agencies, governments and regulators.

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