With all the excitement over the past year and the promise for the future, here are three predictions about autonomous vehicles from IDTechEx for 2023.
1. Robotaxi service expansion
There are now a small handful of robotaxi services coming online in the US. In 2023 this will grow. It is unlikely that many new cities will go online; a few will, but the services in existing cities will grow — particularly Cruise in San Francisco, which will be a key service to keep track of.
2. Commercial "driver-out" autonomous trucking will enter a trialing phase
IDTechEx thinks that in 2023 the first commercial autonomous truck routes without a driver behind the wheel will go online. This will likely start with a single route, perhaps Tucson to Phoenix, as demonstrated by TuSimple. However, IDTechEx thinks a handful of routes and companies will be online by the end of next year.
3. More level three vehicles in Europe enabled by higher performing radar and LiDAR
So far, there has only been one true level three car on the market, the Mercedes S-Class. (The Honda Legend was also level three certified in Japan, but only 100 were made available.) However, Mercedes' level three functionality could only be used in Germany. IDTechEx thinks that next year more OEMs will be looking to deploy level three vehicles such as BMW, Stellantis, and perhaps more Mercedes models.
Additionally, the UK and some European countries will likely allow level three to be used on their roads. In Germany, there may be the level three speed limit increase from 60kph to 130kph thanks to a UNECE regulation change coming into effect in January.
Level three in the US and China is harder to predict as the relevant governing bodies have been as forthcoming or transparent as UNECE on a plan to make it happen. These regions have some of the most pioneering OEMs; they pushed the bounds of what is possible and are lobbying for more regulation around higher automated level deployments. IDTechEx does not think it will be long before deployments are seen here as well.