Waymo to capture 60% of driverless market by 2030

A new report has revealed that autonomous car development company, Waymo will own up to 60% of the global self-driving taxi market by 2030, which could force many of the world’s carmakers to adopt its technology.

Waymo is testing self-driving tech with 600 Chrysler Pacificas – image courtesy of Waymo.

Global revenues from self-driving technology by 2030 could to be up to $2.8bn, with US car development firm Waymo predicted to be the global leader, according to a report by investment bank UBS.

According to the report, only a select handful of carmakers, such as Daimler and General Motors, will be able to operate their own systems and compete with Waymo’s technology.

The study highlights that many carmakers are racing to develop self-driving systems to get into the market of driverless car-booking, a new segment that is expected to offset car ownership in the world’s major cities in the coming decades.

UBS expects 12% of cars sold in 2030 will be for driverless taxi fleets, with a total of 26 million ‘robotaxis’ in operation. Private car sales will fall by 5% as a result, it expects.

The report predicts that demand for self-driving taxis will take off around 2026, depending on public acceptance of the technology in the face of recent crashes, and regulatory approval, although it will develop at different speeds in different markets.

The largest revenue pools will be reportedly in operating the car-booking networks and monetising time spent by passengers in the cars, it predicts, with building the cars and other services such as mapping or sensors taking a smaller portion of the driverless pie.

However, the costs of building a self-driving system from scratch, as well as the challenges of deploying it in cities across the world, will prohibit all but a handful of carmakers from competing in the most lucrative part of the market, the report has shown.

The report states: “Unlike most auto players, Google focused on [full self-driving technology] from the very beginning — more than five years before the auto industry started working on it.”

Waymo has notched up more than 5 million miles of physical testing in California, as well as 5 billion miles of virtual testing on its computers, putting it far ahead of rivals, the report added.

While Waymo is currently not building its own cars, it is developing the brain of a driverless vehicle, then installing its system on existing cars. Jaguar has agreed to sell 20,000 electric cars to Waymo, while it currently uses Chrysler minivans in its fleet.

Those that do provide vehicles for driverless fleets may see their brands disappear from the cars, and be relegated to “white label” providers, the report added.

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