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New prediction: 21 million driverless cars sold by 2035

21 million driverless cars worldwide in 2035? (Photo: Fotalia)

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Latest figures forecast a larger number of self-driving vehicles on the road than first expected.

As companies continue to test their latest prototype and patent new features, predictions and estimates about the future of our roads continue to circulate. 

The latest figures released concern the number of self-driving vehicles that are expected. According to an article in Mashable, analyst organization IHS Automotive has suggested that nearly 21 million driverless cars could be sold worldwide by 2035. This number marks a substantial increase from a previous estimate made in January 2014, which anticipated self-driving car sales would (only) reach 11.8 million by the same date. 

The reason behind this shift is attributed to increased research and development of autonomous technology by the automotive industry and tech firms. According to ZDNet, commercial innovations from car- and ride-sharing programs are also playing a significant role: 

"Future mobility will connect and combine many different modes and technologies, and autonomous vehicles will play a central role," said Jeremy Carlson, principal analyst at IHS Automotive. "IHS expects entirely new vehicle segments to be created, in addition to traditional vehicles adding autonomous capabilities. Consumers gain new choices in personal mobility to complement mass transit, and these new choices will increasingly use battery electric and other efficient means of propulsion."

According to the latest predictions, the U.S. will take pole position in the deployment of driverless cars, with 4.5 million vehicles by 2035. Eastern and Western Europe will see an aggregate of the same amount, compared to one million in Middle East and Africa. In Asia, IHS Automotive predicts that the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will cause Japan to put their foot on the accelerator when it comes to driverless technology, whilst China is expected to have sold 5.7 million vehicles with some level of autonomy by that date. 

Although numbers might change as the development of the technology continues, what is clear is that the technology is already highly global in scope.

Read the Mashable article here and ZDNet here

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