What if I told you there was a new technology that had the power to save hundreds of thousands of lives over the next few decades? This technology could make it easier for people with physical disabilities and those who are elderly to become more mobile. It also has the potential to create new market opportunities that could be worth $7 trillion in the next three decades. Would you be interested in an investment opportunity like that? Because that’s exactly the opportunity the burgeoning driverless car market is creating.
Driverless cars (also known as self-driving cars or autonomous vehicles) aren’t just science fiction anymore. A slew of automakers and technology companies from around the world are already building all of the necessary hardware and software to make these vehicles a reality on our public roads — and they’ll be here faster than you think.
Nearly every major automaker in the U.S. and abroad is already testing driverless cars with varying levels of self-driving automation, and research by IHS Markit shows that by 2040 nearly 26% of new vehicles sold worldwide — or 33 million vehicles — will be fully autonomous. That will be a massive increase from the estimated 51,000 driverless cars that will be on the roads by 2021.
Bringing self-driving technology to vehicles on the road — even when they’re not perfect — could lead to far fewer vehicle fatalities over the long run. Research by the Rand Corporation found that introducing self-driving vehicles to public roads now will help them to become nearly perfect at driving by 2035. After that point, the vehicles will help reduce global vehicle fatalities by 1.1 million between 2035 and 2070.
To fully grasp how these vehicles can make our lives safer — and how investors can benefit — we first need to understand the basics of how self-driving technology works.