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Autonomous vehicles will rule the roads in Europe

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3D illustration of evolution of automobiles. Ishizeki | Dreamstime.com

Our mobility habits will change

Our mobility behaviour will change radically. As soon as the legal questions have been clarified and the main technological hurdles have been overcome, the percentage of shared and autonomous mobility in terms of overall road traffic will rise significantly. Our forecasts suggest that by 2030, more than one in three kilometres driven could already involve sharing concepts. At the same time, user behaviour will move more and more towards autonomous mobility. Here, PwC Autofacts calculates – again based on mileage – that by 2030 this may even rise to as much as 40%.

Developments in Europe and the US are expected to happen at a roughly parallel pace. In China, by contrast, the penetration of shared and autonomous mobility will happen faster than in the Western world. This could make China the leading market for the transformation of the automotive industry.

More people will travel more kilometres

Due to rising population figures and higher mobility demands, mileage will continue to increase. At the same time, given that driving will be easier, safer and cheaper, general mobility trends will move even more strongly in the direction of individual mobility. In addition, individual transport could become an option for groups of people, who have not had access to transport at all in the past, such as people with physical disabilities.

Autonomous vehicles including public transport and truck, robotic delivery technologies isometric flowchart. Macrovector | Dreamstime.com

Finally, another factor here is the rise in mileage due to empty journeys made by autonomous vehicles. PwC Autofacts therefore assumes that personal mileage in Europe could rise by 23% by 2030 to 5.88 trillion kilometres. Forecasts predict an increase of 24% in the US and 183% in China.

The car of the future will be used much more intensively

Autonomous – and in particular – shared-autonomous vehicles will in the future be far better utilised in terms of capacity than is the case with traditional vehicle use today. The annual mileage will therefore rise dramatically. As a result, the cars will have to be replaced much sooner – even though their active lifetime mileage will increase. The assumption that the lifetime mileage of future cars will be higher has much to do with autonomous and connected driving resulting in fewer accidents.

Maintenance and repair costs will drop and lower accident rates will mean that cars will be able to travel many more miles.

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