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New Opportunities in the Transformation of the Global Automotive Market

May 29, 19:43 UTC+3
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Information technology has become a game changer across the market, and the automotive industry is no exception. Cars are turning into smartphones on wheels, and will become completely driverless in the future. Such systems are already being tested, and Russia is no exception.

In October 2016, PwC estimated that the global market of connected cars (cars equipped with internet access that provide additional information to their drivers and respond to voice commands) would grow three-fold in the next five years, from USD 52.5 billion to USD 156 billion.

The biggest automotive concerns are already implementing strategies to produce fully autonomous cars.

  • General Motors (GM) plans to launch self-driving cars on the market in five years.
  • Ford expects to present its autonomous car by 2021.
  • Daimler and Bosch will get an autonomous system for unmanned cars ready by the beginning of the next decade.
  • The alliance of Renault and Nissan already has an autonomous driving technology, ProPILOT.
  • BMW plans to launch its innovative BMW i NEXT in 2021.
  • Google has spun off this business as Waymo. It expects to start selling licenses by 2020.
  • Apple announced its plans to invest in driverless cars development in December 2016.
  • Tesla has already launched such cars on the market.
  • Volkswagen (VW) has developed an electrical driverless concept car, Sedric.
  • Volvo plans to start sales of its self-driving car in 2021.
  • Peugeot is working on a car with an autonomous driving function and connection to a cloud platform.

Other driverless vehicles are being designed in addition to cars.

  • KAMAZ is working on self-driving buses. They are set to appear in business parks, exhibition centres, tech cities, museums and airports by 2018. Trucks design is also underway, and test batches are to be produced by 2020.
  • In 2016, 12 driverless trucks were tested on European roads, including Scania, Daimler, Volvo, MAN, Iveco and DAF.
  • An Otto self-driving truck made its first run in the United States in 2016.
  • China’s FAW plans to start batch production of unmanned trucks by 2018.
  • Rostselmash and Cognitive Technologies are building the world’s first self-driving harvester. The pilot models of the smart agricultural machine will be built before 2018, while industrial production is set to start by 2020.

Smart car production enjoys government support in many countries.

  • The US plans to allocate USD 4 billion over 10 years to support the Connected Car programme.
  • The European Union has budgeted EUR 800 million for the purpose.
  • Russia has approved the National Technology, which includes the Autonet programme. It envisages achievement of partial autonomy by 2020 and full by 2035.

There are a number of deterrents, both in terms of technology and legal environment, to development of unmanned vehicles. Yet some of them are being eliminated.

Legislative barriers:

  • In the US, a number of states, e.g. California, have lifted their restrictions on using such cars.
  • The UK has been working on amendments to liability insurance of driverless cars and to the Highway Code since 2016.
  • Russia is drafting a law on using self-driving cars within secluded territories.

Cyber security:

  • Experts estimate that the number of cyber attacks on web-connected devices surged four- to five-fold in 2015–2016.

Design flaws:

  • The California Department of Motor Vehicles collects statistics of accidents with autonomous vehicles. By the end of 2016, out of 21 companies that tested driverless cars, the one with the lowest number of accidents was Google’s Waymo, followed by BMW. The worst results were demonstrated by Bosch, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla.

Low internet speed:

  • As of early 2017, 5G was still not around, but the International Telecommunication Union is actively discussing the issue.
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