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This market research report was originally published at Yole Développement’s website. It is reprinted here with the permission of Yole Développement.

The one million robotic vehicle milestone will be reached by end of the decade: The industrial phase has been launched.

WHAT’S NEW

  • Mobility market analysis
  • Updated forecast 2020/2032
  • Analysis per player
  • Computing vs sensing analysis update
  • Technology and landscape update

A NEW GENERATION OF ROBOTIC VEHICLE IS BRINGING MOBILITY AS A SERVICE TO THE MASSES

Disruption is coming to our streets and cities. Mobility has defined the way humans have organized their society for ages and our world is currently being reimagined around a new generation of robotic vehicles. They appeared insignificant two years ago when Yole Développement (Yole) published its first report on the matter, today they are on the brink of changing the world as we know it. Current means of mobility are hitting five major limitations. The first concerns the most vulnerable modality, namely that pedestrian safety is deteriorating.

Second, in the major cities where people tend to live nowadays, public transportation is facing challenges in terms of efficiency and cost. Third, cars are no longer the grand solution to mobility they used to be. Congestion and cost of ownership is undermining this option. Fourth, air mobility is currently enjoying rapid expansion, but travel remains difficult as city to airport connections remain poor. Fifth, CO2 emissions due to all current means of mobility make urgent change vital. Regulators and customers are willing to change in both top-down and bottom-up manners. The mobility industry will have to adapt, and for some this will be a massive opportunity. In this respect robotic mobility clearly checks all the right boxes. Whether it is robotic cars, shuttles or electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft, the combination of all these new modalities will provide “Mobility as a Service” (MaaS) from inner cities, from cities to suburbs and cities to cities. Previous means of mobility will not disappear, just as cinema still existed while TV was massively deployed.

Regardless of the naysayers, robotic vehicle technology will provide the Netflix of mobility before 2032.

HIGH END SENSOR TECHNOLOGY AND RAW COMPUTING POWER ARE AT THE CENTER OF THIS REVOLUTION

Carmakers developing Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology have now mainly chosen a camera-and-radar approach. As Mr E. Musk, the CEO of Tesla, said: “LiDAR is a fool’s errand […] in the automotive context”.

Robotic vehicles do not focus on the cost and long-term reliability issues that are the main concern for other automobiles. All that matters is the immediate availability, performance, and supportability of their sensor suite. The robotic sensor data flow is utterly limited by downstream computing power. While previous generations were in the range of several hundred Tera operations per second (Tops), the latest robotic vehicles are in the range of a thousand Tops.

This gives limited increases in terms of sensor data flow, which relates to what Yole calls “More than Moore’s law”. The computing power needed increases with the square of data flow input. The number of sensing cameras, radars and LiDARs will grow far slower than the performance of robotic vehicle computers.

The way around data sparsity is for roboticists to use “better” data, meaning sensors which bring other types of information. The quality of information is increased, not the quantity. On top of industrial grade cameras and radars, they are massively using 3D sensing LiDARs, navigation grade Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) devices and Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) and more recently Thermal Infra-Red (IR) cameras.

These sensors come with significant price tags, and will therefore generate $900M in revenues by 2024, $3.4B by 2028 and reach $17B by 2032, a time when a million robotic vehicles may be roaming our streets.

SENSORS FOR ROBOTIC VEHICLES WILL BECOME INDUSTRIES OF THEIR OWN

Growth rates are expected to be impressive. In 2019 production of robotic vehicles was in the range of a few thousand worldwide. Yole analysts expect production volumes to reach 400Ku units annually, with cumulative production of 1M units, by 2032. This ramp up forecast is based on a 51% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the next 15 years. By then, the total revenue associated with the production of robotic vehicles will reach $60B. 40% of that figure will originate from the vehicles themselves, 28% will come from sensing hardware, 28% from computing hardware and the remaining 4% will be from integration. This means that within 15 years complete industries will be structured around robotic vehicle technologies.

When looking closer to the present, in 2024 Yole analysts expect sensor revenues to reach $0.4B for LiDAR, $60M for radar, $160M for cameras, $230M for IMUs and $20M for GNSS devices. The split between the different sensor modalities may not stay the same for the 15 years to come.

Nevertheless the total envelope for sensing hardware should reach $17B in 2032, while, for comparative purposes, computing should be in the same range.

Today’s car sales account for $2.4T and are the natural target of internet giants like Google, Baidu, Amazon and Uber. They are mostly attracted by the MaaS market, which we believe should reach the same value of $2.4T within the next decade.

With an additional $1.1T to be generated by sales of personally-owned autonomous driving vehicles, the added value of autonomous driving will reach a total of $3.5T by 2032.

Here you’ll find a wealth of practical technical insights and expert advice to help you bring AI and visual intelligence into your products without flying blind.

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