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Research predicts that sales of driverless cars will soar in the US

Research conducted in the United States is projecting that the sales of autonomous vehicles is set to explode exponentially in the next eight years. The increase in sales is expected to be primarily propelled by aggressive investment from the likes of Google subsidiary Waymo.

The research was conducted by Juniper and the report entitled 'Autonomous Vehicles: Readiness Index, Player Positioning 2018-2026' offers a fascinating insight into how the driverless market is set to evolve in that time period.

According to Juniper, sales of autonomous vehicles (AVs) will reach five million and that one in four cars sold in the US will be driverless. The research pointed to several factors that will drive the market adoption of AV technologies in the future.

Juniper claims that significant investments from automotive giants such as GM, Daimler, Audi and Volvo will position themselves as leading players in the mobility services sector. In addition to this, it has been highlighted that governments allowing firms to test AVs on their roads - and the continued investment in smart city infrastructure will also accelerate the movement towards the adoption of EVs.

The report suggests that the five most promising players in the driverless industry will be Waywo(Google) Tesla, Volvo, Daimler and Audi. Juniper also found that Google is further ahead than traditional manufacturers in terms of technology and miles tested. Waymo is set to be integrated into smart city strategies for public transportation - and could license its expertise to other OEMs; threatening the role of the tier 1 suppliers, the report stated.

Juniper estimates that 45 million on-road vehicles will have some form of ADAS functionality by the end of 2018, with adoption reaching 100 million by 2020. Additionally, with luxury vehicles incorporating semi-autonomous technologies, such as the new Audi A8, the market will further evolve to full automation, while shifting its focus to delivering a complete driver experience.

"The introduction of fully autonomous technologies, with some vehicles no longer having steering wheels and pedals, will mean that the focus will shift from how drivers get from A-B to how the occupants use the journey time, " said Michael Larner, research authors