A new report from Gartner suggests that worldwide net additions of autonomous-ready vehicles could reach 745,705 units in 2023, that’s up from 332,932 units in 2019 and 137,129 units in 2018. These figures do not represent sales, but the net change in vehicles.
According to the analyst firm, the growth in autonomous-ready vehicles will be driven by adoption in North America, Greater China, and Western Europe. It said that as these regions see an increase in these vehicles, these will be the first regions to introduce regulations around the technology.
Explaining exactly what an autonomous-ready vehicle was, Jonathan Davenport, principal research analyst at Gartner, said:
“There are no advanced autonomous vehicles outside of the research and development stage operating on the world’s roads now. There are currently vehicles with limited autonomous capabilities, yet they still rely on the supervision of a human driver. However, many of these vehicles have hardware, including cameras, radar, and in some cases, lidar sensors, that could support full autonomy. With an over-the-air software update, these vehicles could begin to operate at higher levels of autonomy, which is why we classify them as ‘autonomous-ready.’”
Gartner said that net additions of commercial vehicles will make up 37,361 in 2023 while consumer vehicles will total 708,344.
With regards to fully autonomous vehicles, Gartner said that no country has active regulations that allow production-ready autonomous vehicles to operate legally. It also said that companies will not deploy autonomous vehicles because they will be held responsible for anything that goes wrong, whereas vehicles with partial human supervision are still the responsibility of the driver.
Despite the growth of autonomous-ready vehicles, the sensors needed will still cost a lot of money. Gartner said that by 2026 the cost of sensors will have dropped by 25% from 2020 but that they’re still prohibitively expensive which means they’ll be restricted to premium models.