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Autonomous Road Passenger Vehicles: A market slowed down by uncertain regulatory environment and high cost of hardware

  • Internet of Things
  • IoT
  • Hyperconnectivity
  • Autonomous Vehicle
  • Autonomous Ride Hailing
  • Automated Driving Systems
  • Driverless car
  • Robotic Car
  • Robotaxi
  • Self-Driving Vehicle
  • SAE
  • Autonomous Ride Pooling
  • Conditionally Automated Car
  • Fully Automated Car
  • Suruchi Dhingra
  • Matt Arnott
This report summarises the status and forecasts from the Autonomous Road Passenger Vehicles Application Group found in the Transforma Insights Connected Things IoT forecast. The report provides a description of what is covered in the Application Group, as well as top-level figures from the forecast that provide detail on how many connected devices will be installed, the types of communication technology used and the total revenue opportunity. Full details are accessible through the TAM Forecast tool

Report summary

This report provides Transforma Insights’ view on the Autonomous Road Passenger Vehicles market. This segment comprises autonomous vehicles primarily used to transport passengers on the road, including buses, coaches, minivans, and robotaxis, as well as private vehicles, which are capable of operating at Level 3 of the SAE levels of autonomy.

The Autonomous Road Passenger Vehicles market is an emerging market with several obstacles. There aren’t many self-driving cars driven by consumers as personally owned vehicles on public roads yet but early robotaxi services are already available in select markets. The path to large-scale commercialisation and mass deployment remains challenging because of the need for technological advances, lack of comprehensive regulations, and the high cost of hardware. The development of Vehicle to Everything (V2X) infrastructure will play a significant role in the development of the autonomous road passenger market as it enables a level of communication and awareness of surroundings that will encourage safe operations of fully autonomous vehicles.

The report provides a detailed definition of the sector, analysis of market development and profiles of the key vendors in the space. It also provides a summary of the current status of adoption and Transforma Insights’ ten-year forecasts for the market. The forecasts include analysis of the number of IoT connections by geography, the technologies used and revenue.

A full set of forecast data, including country-level forecasts, sector breakdowns and public/private network splits, is available through the IoT Forecast tool.

Key market developments in Autonomous Road Passenger Vehicles Application Group

This section begins by talking about the obstacles in this emerging market, and charts where various companies stand in this context, like Honda and Mercedes Benz being the only OEMs to have received approval for selling Level 3 vehicles. It also traces the progress made by technology companies like Auto X and Baidu (who have launched and are operating autonomous ride-sharing cars with Level 4 capabilities in the US and China).

High hardware cost blocks wider use of autonomous cars

This section expounds on how cost (apart from the deployment of advanced technology) hampers the adoption of autonomous cars. It also suggests some ways to reduce cost (such as shifting away from lidar) and mentions some organisations (like Waymo and Argo), who have been able to reduce the cost to some extent, and others that are experimenting with alternatives to lidar to bring down their costs.

How expensive are self-driving cars going to be for consumers?

This section discusses the cost at which manufacturers will offer autonomous systems in future and whether it will favour their mass adoption or not. It also charts the range of business models that companies are currently offering customers to install autonomous technologies in vehicles.

Some manufacturers will look to skip intermediate levels of autonomy

This section talks about the manufacturers that are trying to skip Level 3 autonomy and directly go to Levels 4 or 5. To cite an instance, Ford wants to skip Level 3 and believes that passing the safety transfer control from a computer to the driver in the event of an emergency is a safety challenge.

Lack of comprehensive regulations represents a major roadblock for the market

This section of the report discusses how the lack of comprehensive legislation and liability will also delay the launch of autonomous vehicles. Case in point, Audi cancelled its plans to launch Traffic Jam Pilot autonomous technology (Level 3) in A8 vehicles since the approval process for Level 3 vehicles had not been finalised at the time of its release.

It also charts individual countries and their stand regarding such regulations. For instance, Germany has allowed vehicles to operate at Level 3 and Level 4.

The impact of vehicle to everything (V2X) on autonomous vehicles

This section of the report defines Vehicle to Everything (V2X) and talks about the several types of communication under V2X (one of them being Vehicle to Infrastructure where vehicles can send and receive information from road infrastructure, such as cameras, and capture data like weather advisories, eventually enhancing road safety).

It then discusses the benefits of V2X communication (like enhancing the connectedness between vehicles and any entity that may affect or be affected by objects such as streetlights) and its future role (like enabling the level of communication connectivity required for the safe operation of fully autonomous vehicles). It also talks about the dominant technologies (like Dedicated Short-Range Communication) that will support V2X use cases.

Autonomous vehicles and sustainability

This section draws on the correlation between autonomous vehicles and sustainability. It discusses how the ongoing push towards decarbonisation may adversely affect the growing popularity of autonomous vehicles since they can increase energy consumption by using extra hardware equipment like cameras and sensors.

It also talks about how AVs can contribute towards sustainability despite the drawbacks (like reducing traffic congestion, collisions, harsh braking, and acceleration) and how a transition towards autonomous vehicles can also help in fixing some of the other wider Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) challenges (by switching off headlights when not required and using other technologies such as laser guidance for identifying obstacles).

The future of autonomous vehicle ownership remains unclear

This section discusses the critical question of whether the future of autonomous transportation lies in ‘as a service’ (like ride-hailing) or in ‘individual ownership’. It also gives some examples of relevant IoT deployments in this application, such as Geely’s Zeekr and Mobileye planning to launch a fully electric Level 4 autonomous vehicle in China in 2024.

Key vendors for Autonomous Road Passenger Vehicles

The key vendors section lists some of the main providers of products and services related to the market such as Baidu, BMW Group, Cruise, Geely Group, Honda, Mercedes Benz, Stellantis, Tesla, Toyota, Volvo Cars, Volkswagen Group, and Waymo. The report provides profiles of the various vendors including aspects most relevant to this Application Group, such as product offerings, pricing, financial results, and technology.

Market forecasts for Autonomous Road Passenger Vehicles

In the market forecasts section, we provide a summary of the forecasts from the Transforma Insights IoT Forecast Database:


The report charts the growth in the number of devices (in terms of vehicle head units), which will grow from 1.9 million in 2020 to 46.6 million in 2030.

Transforma Insights forecasts are compiled on a country-by-country basis. This report includes a regional summary, showing splits between Australasia, Greater China, North America, Europe, Japan, Latin America, MENA, Russia & Central Asia, South East Asia, South Korea, India & South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.


Transforma Insights’ IoT forecasts include splits between the various connectivity technologies as follows: 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G mMTC, 5G non-mMTC, LPWA (non-mMTC), Satellite, Short Range, and Other.

This section discusses which technologies will be used in the autonomous road passenger vehicles application group.


This part of the report discusses the market growth in terms of revenue (module revenue, service wrap revenue, and VAC revenue). Transforma Insights estimates that the revenue in the Autonomous Road Passenger Vehicles Application Group will grow at a CAGR of 32%.

  • Argo AI
  • Audi
  • Aurora
  • Auto X
  • Baidu
  • BMW
  • Bosch
  • Cariad
  • Cruise
  • Daimler
  • Ford
  • Geely
  • General Motors
  • Honda
  • Hyundai
  • Innoviz
  • Luminar
  • Magna International
  • Mercedes Benz
  • MobilEye
  • Nvidia
  • Rivian
  • Stellantis
  • Tesla
  • Toyota
  • Velodyne
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo
  • Waymo
  • Zeekr
  • Zenseact
  • Internet of Things
  • Hyperconnectivity
  • Autonomous Robotic Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence
    • Transportation & Storage
    • Consumer