Participate in the 2019 Autonomous Vehicle Industry Survey

By: Elizabeth Mixson

The Autonomous Vehicles Detroit Summit has become the leading technical program for autonomous innovators, bringing together 250-plus automotive mobility experts to share their expertise with peers and industry leaders.

Ahead of the latest version AV Detroit, in August 21-23, we're excited to announce to launch our annual survey of industry professionals. Among other insights, the results will illuminate where car manufacturers and other players in the space are on their journey toward autonomous and how they're capitalizing on this game-changing opportunity to reinvent an industry and the key challenges they face along the way.

We hope you'll take the brief 5-minute survey (just scroll down this page).

In the meantime, here's a look at what our last survey -- of 325+ professionals representing  OEMs, “Mobility Disruptors,” Tier 1 Manufacturers, autonomous technology companies, and solution providers -- revealed. (Read the full survey here.) 

And of course, if you want to go deeper into these issues and hear directly from some of the top leaders and thinkers in the industry, join us August 21-23 for Autonomous Vehicles Detroit 2019.

Big Questions Remain

Car companies, “mobility disruptors,” technology companies, and other players in the automotive supply chain continue to pour billions of dollars into the effort to develop fully autonomous vehicles. There’s no question that we’re in the midst of a mobility revolution, an industrial and social transformation that promises to overturn our ideas about mobility and reinvent how we get from Point A to Point B. 

Less clear is how soon the vision of this new automotive world will become a reality. Plenty of questions need to be answered before it does. How will autonomous vehicles be regulated? How will the industry allay the safety and privacy concerns of a skeptical public? Can machines “learn” to make moral choices, and who is accountable for those choices? And when will the technology be ready for prime time?

AV & Connected Cars Maturity Curve

The race to develop the first fully self-driving car is in full swing, with automakers, suppliers, and software developers testing several approaches at breakneck speed. In the short term, OEMs are about to begin rolling out vehicles equipped with Level 3 technology, a crucial step on the journey toward deploying Level 4 and 5 systems.

Our survey asked OEMs and Disrupters to describe where their company falls on the AV and connected cars maturity curve. Here’s how they responded:

  • 32% have invested in both areas and are in the process of developing and testing new products
  • 22%  are currently considering investing in autonomous vehicles
  • 20% are considering investing in connected cars.

As for technology companies and solution providers,

  • 22% have invested in both areas and are developing and testing new products.  
  • 24% have already released products that fall under the “connected cars” category.

Autonomous Technology Implementation Challenges

Top Inhibitors: Organizations

We asked respondents to name the most significant inhibitors to the development and implementation of autonomous technology on an organizational level. Safety emerged as the number one inhibitor overall – not surprising given the attention given to the issue by the news media and the general public.

Other significant barriers on the organizational  level include:

  • Cybersecurity and privacy
  • Lack of regulatory frameworks
  • High cost of development

Top Inhibitors: Individuals

Despite some overlap, slightly different emphases emerged when we framed the question in individual terms.

For individuals working for tier-one manufacturers, technology companies, and solution providers, safety remains the number one issue.

However, for OEMs and disrupters, the top inhibitor was “working with external technology vendors and providers.”

Outlook: The Next 18 Months


Autonomous vehicles process a staggering amount of data in order to make decisions during a drive, hence the importance of artificial intelligence, software validation, and software verification. And as vehicles becoming increasingly connected, systems become more intricate and produce larger amounts of data, raising concerns about cybersecurity. These issues feature prominently in our respondents’ priorities for the next 18 months.

  • AV software is the number one priority for OEMs and Disruptors
  • AV Hardware takes top spot for Tier 1 Manufacturers
  • Technology Companies and Solution Providers cite cybersecurity as their main focus over the period


Respondents were asked to share approximately how much their company is looking to invest in the top priorities over the next 18 months. The majority of OEMs, disrupters, and tier one manufacturers indicated that they are looking to invest at least $10 million over the next 18 months.

(It’s worth noting that automakers are paying more attention to startups. For example, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault have created a fund, Alliance Ventures, which over the next five years will invest up to $1 billion in mobility startups pursuing advances in electrification, autonomy, connectivity and artificial intelligence. Several other automakers, such as BMW and Jaguar Land Rover, have venture capital arms to fund startups working on technology that could facilitate the development of autonomous vehicles.)

However, the majority of technology companies and solution providers -- 40% -- said they plan on investing less than $500,000 over the next year and a half. Regulatory uncertainty may be a factor here.

Autonomous Vehicle Revenue Stream

We asked respondents to share what percentage of their company’s revenue they expect to be generated by autonomous vehicles over the next five to ten years. The majority of OEMs, disrupters, technology companies, and solution providers all anticipate autonomous vehicle revenue to make up 1-10% of their organizations’ total revenue.

This percentage suggests that for all the excitement and expectation around autonomous vehicles, widespread adoption may prove slow as regulatory and technological challenges are gradually worked out. Moreover, the much-heralded transition to “mobility-as-a-service,” where consumers “subscribe” to cars rather than owning or leasing outright is a massive societal shift that will take years  to unfold.

Finally, when respondents were asked to share how autonomous vehicles will ultimately impact the automotive industry, they struck a largely positive note. The view that AV would change the industry for the better was shared by:

  • 68% of technology companies and solution providers
  • 63% of Tier 1 Manufacturers: 63%
  • 50% of OEMs

So, ultimately, our takeaway is this: Challenges remain and will need to be overcome before fully autonomous vehicles are mass produced and widely adopted.  However, steady progress toward the autonomous future continues, and a revolution in mobility is undoubtedly taking shape.

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