Self-Driving Cars – LONDON, June, 2014 ( Solar Thermal Magazine )
• Survey asks global auto executives’ opinions on 2014 opportunities and challenges
• Overwhelming 71% see “positive” outlook for the automotive industry this year
• 68% think self-driving cars will be available by 2025
Around 68% of global automotive industry executives expect self-driving cars to be on the market by 2025, according to a survey by just-auto.com. just-auto is used by 90,000 auto industry executives every month for automotive news, updates and industry analysis.
Its annual survey asked readers for their views on the global automotive industry outlook for 2014 – including opportunities for growth, challenges, and issues like autonomous vehicles and connected car technology.
The vast majority of respondents – 71% – said they were optimistic about their business outlook in 2014. Around 43% were “quite positive” and 28% were “very positive”, according to the survey.
Only 5.6% of those who took part felt their company faced decline in 2014.
The car market in Europe is picking up, albeit from a low base,” said Dave Leggett, managing editor of just-auto. And the global automotive market is growing bigger year on year, shifting around 80m units per annum now. This growth is reflected by the confidence of automotive industry executives: the majority of whom believe the industry will continue to grow this year.
The survey asked executives what they felt were the biggest risks to the auto industry this year, and, unsurprisingly, the gloom of recession haunted most responses.
Around 41% felt recession would be the biggest challenge for the industry this year, compared to just 21% fearing that rising raw material prices would pose the biggest risk. Around 19% said oil price shifts could pose the greatest risk, with 20% saying industrial disputes posed a genuine threat.
Businesses remain focused on cost and profitability. Around 62% of those surveyed said profitability would be the biggest challenge for their business in 2014. Around 51% said they felt reducing costs would be a challenge this year.
On electrification, two divergent trends were highlighted in the survey. While the outlook for fully electric vehicles remains disappointing for those makers who have invested heavily in the technology, hybrids are projected to do well in 2014.
Some 84% of respondents said that fully electric vehicles would struggle to gain market acceptance this year. However, 70% said that hybrids would gain greater market acceptance in 2014.
The survey also suggests that autonomous or self-driving cars are set to make a big impact in the market over the next decade. Around 71% of those surveyed said they believed autonomous cars (or self-driving cars) would be available on the mass market by about 2025. Some 26.9% of respondents believed that they could be on the market by around 2020.
“This annual survey provides a snapshot of opinion from the global automotive industry,” Dave Leggett said. “It shows how the industry feels globally about the year ahead and is a simple barometer of the industry’s mood.
“We specialise in providing in-depth data, market research and reports to almost 120,000 automotive industry executives every month, and this annual survey provides a really clear outline of their views on the industry for the next 12 months.”
just-auto recently relaunched its website, and is offering non-subscribers 30 days of free access for just GBP1 / EU1 / USD1. For more information, visit http://www.just-auto.com.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.