Driverless cars will be shared more: Barclays

Autonomous cars

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Emerging technologies like shared driverless cars might affect sales of automobiles. Technology might cause US auto sales to drop by 40% in the next 25 years, predicts Barclays in a report on Insurance Journal.

The trend might reduce vehicle ownership as a family might end up owning one car, according to the report. Driveless cars can travel across the town and transport every family member cutting the need for a second or a third car in the family.

This would mean that carmakers who survive on large volume sales like General Motors or Ford Auto Co, will have to slash output. Self-driving cars is the most debated topic among technology, automobile as well as insurance forums on the future of the market. The autonomous car market has already been estimated at $42 billion by 2025. Part-autonomous cars will hit the market by as early as 2017, according to a forecast by the Boston Consulting Group.

The Barclays analyst said that there would be four kinds of vehicles after the trend of autonomous cars sets in. One of them is traditional cars and trucks driven by people in rural areas. Then there are family shared autonomous vehicles, shared autonomous vehicles or robot taxis that can be summoned by a smartphone, and finally pooled shared autonomous vehicles like a bus or a van that can accommodate multiple riders.

Each shared vehicle can replace nine traditional autos and each pooled vehicle can reduce 18, the analyst said. This would mean that consumer cost of mobility can reduce dramatically.

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