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Automated vehicles - which country will gain the global leadership?

It's a worldwide race towards automated mobility. (Photo: Fotolia / chungking)

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Christian Burkard
Christian Burkard
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Automotive countries are intensely competing for leadership in automated vehicles. But which nations are heading the race? A new market study is providing detailed rankings.

The huge market potential of Automated Vehicles and corresponding mobility services has attracted many players, both within and outside of the established automotive industry. As a consequence, an intense competition begins to emerge which will not only affect individual companies but also entire business locations and countries. Whether or not automotive nations will be able to take the leading position is dependent on the respective industry activities as well as on specific market conditions.

Roland Berger GmbH and fka Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen mbH Aachen (fka) combine the two dimensions industry and market to publish the Automated Vehicles Index, which compares the relative competitive positions of the key automotive nations, these being the US, Germany, China, Sweden, the UK, South Korea, France, Italy and Japan. The latest “Automated Vehicles Index” for the third quarter of 2016 has recently been issued by the automotive experts at Roland Berger and fka.

Germany and the U.S. are currently in the leading position for automated vehicles (Source: fka, Roland Berger).

As one finding of the recent issue, Germany and the US were able to defend their leading position for Automated Vehicles during the last six months. Regarding the industry indicator, German OEMs retain their lead over US automakers when it comes to incorporating automated functions in mass produced vehicles. But other countries are catching up and the competition is intensifying. In recent months a range of manufacturers, including some from China and South Korea, have announced plans to launch automated driving functions in mass produced vehicles. South Korean and Chinese OEMs have also been putting new prototype vehicles on the market.

The market indicator takes into account the legislative framework as well as the sales figures for vehicles with highly developed ADAS systems in the different countries. The US is currently leading this dimension ahead of Germany and Sweden. Whereas the US has a very large market volume (in absolute terms) for vehicles fitted with relevant assistance systems, Germany and Sweden rank second and third respectively due to the very high specific share of new vehicles fitted with such systems. One challenge still facing OEMs is the fact that the legal framework is fraught with uncertainty. Even though Germany decided to amend the Vienna Convention in April this year, thus taking important steps toward the licensing of self-driving cars, the US still offers the best prerequisites for automated driving.

Market volume and market share of vehicles with ADAS. (Source: IHS, fka, Roland Berger)

The complete version of the index includes a detailed description of the countries’ competitive positions in each parameter and picks out the interdependencies between vehicle connectivity and Automated Driving as a focus topic.

Download the full study here for free.

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Christian Burkard
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