Charted: Autonomous driving is racing ahead

A person demonstrates the Drive Pilot Level 3 autonomous driving system

By 2025, most cars will have partly assisted driving and steering, Statista predicts. Image: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Katharina Buchholz
Data Journalist, Statista
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Automotive and New Mobility

  • The transition to autonomous-ready cars has accelerated in recent years and will continue to do so, according to Statista's Mobility Market Insights.
  • There are six different automation levels for passenger cars in the classification, as this chart shows.
  • By 2025, 63.6% of registered passenger cars worldwide should be at level 1, partly assisted driving and steering, Statista predicts.

The share of newly registered passenger cars worldwide produced without provisions for assisted driving systems has become smaller and smaller in recent years. According to the Statista Mobility Market Insights, “regular” cars made up a minority of only 14.4 percent of newly registered cars around the globe in 2020. The transition to autonomous-ready cars has been a quick one: In 2015, cars without assistance systems were still in the majority at 51.4 percent of all newly registered ones.

There are six different automation levels for passenger cars in the classification SAE J3016 by standards developer SAE International, four of which are included in the chart. Autonomous driving ability is displayed as levels 0 to 5. In levels 1 and 2, the autonomous driving functions assist the drivers (so-called assisted mode). Automated driving provisions of of level 3 are now entering regular production, while level 4 is expected by 2025.

Level 3 is the lowest level of this automated mode. Vehicles whose systems meet level 3 requirements can drive independently to some degree, with the driver taking over the wheel again upon request and with advance notice. From level 4, vehicles can drive independently without the driver having to take over. In levels 1 and 2, the driver can be assisted by the autonomous driving systems, yet he or she can not turn attention away from the road. In level 1, either braking or steering can be assisted. In level 2, a combination of both is possible, equipping the car lane centering and adaptive cruise control capabilities.

A chart showing how cars are ready for autonomous driving.
Only 1.6% of cars will have no autonomous driving by 2025. Image: Statista.

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