As a number of Chinese tech companies put the pedal to the metal in the race to dominate the autonomous vehicle industry, a major global information provider is proceeding with caution with regard to predicting the industry’s near-term growth.
Driverless cars won’t be widely available for online hire in China until around 2025, according to a report published Friday by London-based research firm IHS Markit.
While researchers recognized the potential of autonomous vehicles to make travel more efficient, they warned that the need for policymakers to regulate emerging industries will put the brakes on the switchover from conventional vehicles.
Nonetheless, by 2035 China is expected to be home to some 33.6 million autonomous vehicles, around 10% of the world’s total, the report added.
Sales of so-called new mobility vehicles will also comprise 10% of all auto sales in China by 2035, including 3.3 million new vehicles for the ride-hailing business and 0.2 million for car sharing, according to the report.
A number of Chinese companies are developing self-driving technology. In November last year, the country’s first autonomous taxis took to the streets of the southern city of Guangzhou, charging passengers who booked online the equivalent of about $1.70 per ride. And in April, state news agency Xinhua reported that by the end of 2019 the central Chinese city of Changsha will welcome its first fleet of self-driving taxis as part of a collaboration between the municipal government and Chinese tech behemoth Baidu.
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