According to the Graphical Research new growth forecast report titled “Europe Autonomous Cars Market Size”, the Europe autonomous cars market is characterised by the presence of various players including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Waymo, Volvo Car Corporation, and others. The prominent players in the region are leveraging on the strategy of partnership, merger, acquisition and investments to bring technological advancements in the autonomous cars industry and expand its services globally. For instance, In July 2017, Bosch GMBH joined forces with Baidu and Nvidia for its Apollo project. The joined forces aimed at accelerating the development of self-driving car technology.
The autonomous cars market is forecasted to grow in the future years due to early adoption of autonomous transport in the region. The prominent players in the region are conducting the level-4 test, the early conduction of test is predicted to increase the market in the coming years. Additionally, the authorities in France have stated that they will allow the testing of Level-5 self-driving cars. The initiatives were taken for the early adoption of autonomous transport in the region complementing the growth of autonomous cars market.
Also, according to a study from KPMG International, the Netherlands ranks as a country most ready to support driverless cars. There are several reasons why the Netherlands ranks first on “readiness.” The roadway infrastructure is unmatched, with ubiquitous top-tier wireless networks and the highest density of electric vehicle charging stations anywhere. As for government support, last year the Dutch government passed a bill which allows large-scale testing of autonomous vehicles (AVs) without a driver on board. Let’s take a look at other countries in Europe which are leading in the segment.
Governments across the world are working towards welcoming ‘Autonomous Vehicles’ with much-improved road safety, efficient freight services and improved public transport services. However, these are not easy to achieve as there are potential challenges including privacy, cybersecurity risks, etc. that have to be mitigated. Autonomous vehicles lead to more efficient use of roads and make them safer.
The Netherlands is the leader in the autonomous vehicle industry as it is investigating the use of AVs in logistics and freight services. It leads the AVRI and sets an example to the other countries in terms of staying prepared to perform strongly in the autonomous vehicle space. The Dutch government is working on potential ways to use AVs to improve safety. The country is also trying to connect vehicles via 5G technology. TASS International is focused on autonomous vehicles in the country and has come up with a variety of automated driving solutions as well.
At the same time, Amber, a Dutch underdog is quietly working consistently on the concept of driverless vehicles to overtake all the tech titans in one sweep. Further, the supermarket giant, Albert Heijn in the NL is also working on autonomous delivery robots.
Back in 2018, it was legalised to test autonomous vehicles in Norway. Following this several cities have minibus services. In Oslo, a mass-transit company Ruter has teamed up with Autonomous Mobility to test several schemes including a fleet of up to 50 vehicles. This move will contribute to the city’s aspiration for greener transportation. It is expected that up to 50 driverless buses will ply the streets in Oslo by 2021.
In 2018, Sweden opened what is claimed to be the world’s first electric-charging road, which is a 2km stretch near Arlanda airport. This stretch is used by an electric truck belonging to PostNort, a Swedish-Danish postal company. Right now, Sweden is focused on adopting electric vehicles and the developing infrastructure will be used by autonomous vehicles.
The Swedish Transport Agency granted the auto giant Volvo a nod to begin real-world testing of self-driving cars. This boosts the chances of the country to have autonomous vehicles on the roads by 2021. Also in Sweden, a driverless delivery lorry is being used alongside normal traffic on public roads. Dubbed as Einride T-pod, the vehicle is designed by the Swedish transport company based in Stockholm, Sweden.
Finland is focusing on getting autonomous vehicles in winter by exploiting possibilities on how AVs can handle snow-clad tracks and roads. In 2017, the government research organisation VTT showed its robot car Martti driving on a snow-covered road. Also, there is a native AV company called Sensible 4, which develops automated minibuses that can withstand harsh winters that prevail in Finland.
At the same time, in 2018, Japanese brand Muji revealed designs for an autonomous shuttle bus built for all weather conditions, set to hit the roads in three Finnish cities by 2020. The public shuttle bus, called Gacha, is designed in collaboration with Finnish autonomous driving company Sensible 4. According to Muji, it is the first autonomous bus in the world that is suited to all types of weather.
The UK continues to perform well in the autonomous vehicle industry, but has dropped by two places this year due to the entry of Finland and Norway into the index. The UK government has a forward-thinking approach, which makes deploying AVs efficient. In November 2018, the UK government announced that it will support three public trials in 2021 including AV buses in Scotland and self-driving taxis in London. The Brit company FiveAI is already in full sync to compete with Google and Tesla. This year, they were in news for testing self-driving cars in Croydon and Bromley boroughs of London.
Germany is one country that has a national strategy for autonomous vehicles. The government eyes to use AVs ethically to spur innovation, but it might threaten consistency. In 2018, the government came up with a legal framework to let autonomous driving in specific settings. Earlier this year, Volkswagen started testing self-driving cars in Germany and the pilot project is likely to be completed by 2020.
As carmakers push ahead with self-driving vehicles, an Austrian aerospace company and its Chinese partner are working on pilot-less ‘flying taxi’ in Europe. The driverless air taxi is a product of close cooperation between Austrian aerospace company FACC, owned by China’s aerospace group AVIC, and Chinese drone maker EHang. So we can say that Austria is not only thinking about driverless tech on the road but also in the air.
Earlier this year, there were legal changes in France to support driverless bus services that are already transporting passengers. With the legal support, the drivers of AVs now let these vehicles operate autonomously and get themselves freed from responsibility for accidents. In March this year, vehicle manufacturer Renault showcased a concept car, which is designed to work as an electric robot taxi. The French government aims to deploy highly automated vehicles to operate on public roads by 2022.
The Spanish cities and governments are working with companies in real-time to avoid a collision. The Spanish cities are improving their road safety and vehicle management. The country is working towards expanding the rules for self-driving vehicles. Last year, “Erica”, the first driverless autonomous bus was tested in Catalonia to help citizens familiarise with the concept of driverless vehicles. The testing was designed to give local government officials the opportunity to adjust to this new form of transportation, which they expect to be fully functioning by 2020.
The last in the list is Hungary, which is focusing on testing and making autonomous vehicles with Zala Zone test centre and investment by BMW. AImotive, a Budapest-based AV startup is also looking forward to realise the country’s vision to make autonomous vehicles a reality. The report notes that AVs will represent a significant opportunity for many companies in Hungary.
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