United States Autonomous Car Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The US Autonomous Car Market is segmented by Type (Fully Autonomous Vehicles and Semi-Autonomous Vehicles), Sensors (LIDAR, RADAR, Ultrasonic, and Other Sensors), and Level of Automation (Conditional Automation (Level 3), High Automation (Level 4), and Full Automation (Level 5)).

Market Snapshot

United States Autonomous Car Market Overview
Study Period: 2018 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
CAGR: >17 %

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Market Overview

The US autonomous car market was valued at over USD 3 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach over USD 8 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of more than 17% during the forecast period (2021 – 2026).

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has hit the overall automotive industry, compelling automakers to cut down the output at their production plants. COVID-19 has also impacted the operations of many OEMs, from production to R&D, creating short-term disruption delaying autonomous vehicles development and rollouts.

However, with more stringent regulations by the government to increase road safety, more autonomous vehicles are being developed with highly advanced technologies integrated with smartphones through the internet creating new interest among market players to attract customers. Due to rising health concerns and changing commuting patterns, the demand among private consumers is also increasing for personal cars. According to Euromonitor’s Voice of the Industry survey, 13% of respondents indicated they plan to increase usage of cars for commuting short distances permanently.

Moreover, COVID-19 accelerated interest in getting a driving license among the younger generation and city-dwellers. For example, automotive digital marketing company Hedges & Company projects that the total number of licensed drivers in the United States will increase by three million in 2020 to a total of 230 million. Although Level 4 and Level 5 (as scaled by SAE) autonomous cars are unlikely to reach wide acceptance, by 2030, there would be rapid growth for Level 2 and Level 3 autonomous cars, which have advanced driver assistance systems, like collision detection, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

More than 1,400 self-driving cars, trucks, and other vehicles are currently in testing by more than 80 companies across 36 US states and Washington DC. Recently, companies like Lyft and Aptiv have successfully provided 100,000 commercial robotaxi rides in Las Vegas, where 98% of these paying passengers have given five stars to their self-driving ride experience, with most stating this first-of-a-kind experience is something they are eager to try again indicating growing preference of people towards autonomous cars over others.

Scope of the Report

An autonomous car is defined as the vehicle, which is capable of sensing its environment and moving with little or no human input. Autonomous vehicles are made up of numerous sensors, such as LIDAR and RADAR systems, working concurrently to carry out operations automatically or without the help of drivers. The US autonomous car market report covers the latest trends and COVID-19 impact followed by technological developments in the market.

The scope of the report covers the segmentation based on type, sensors, and level of automation. By type, the market is segmented into fully autonomous vehicles and semi-autonomous vehicles. By sensors, the market is segmented into image, LIDAR, radar, ultrasonic, and other sensors. By level of automation, the market is segmented into conditional automation (Level 3), high automation (Level 4), and full automation (Level 5)). For each segment, market sizing and forecast have been done on the basis of value (USD billion).

Fully Autonomous Vehicles
Semi-autonomous Vehicles
Other Sensors
Level of Automation
Conditional Automation (Level 3)
High Automation (Level 4)
Full Automation (Level 5)

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Key Market Trends

People are Showing Willingness for Buying Safer and Efficient Vehicles

The US autonomous car market is likely to be dominated by the autonomous vehicle, as the need for ease in driving and the increasing concern for safety and security are leading to the demand for high-end technology, thus, resulting in the increased demand for semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles.

The contributing factors in the market growth are the need for safe and efficient driving options, evolution in the connected car technology, increasing research and development in the autonomous car sector, and government support for these cars in terms of policies and rebates. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), about 94% of the accidents occurring on the US roadways can be attributed to human errors, like drunken driving and speeding, among others. These can be mitigated with an autonomous car, in which the functionality may follow the speed regulations stated in particular areas.

Autonomous vehicles can predict the impact between vehicles and decide a proper course of action to avoid a similar fate, to provide safer traveling on roads. This is achieved through numerous driver assistance technologies, such as lane-keeping assistance, parking assistance, and adaptive cruise control systems that have been or are being incorporated into autonomous cars.

The US autonomous car market is witnessing growth due to the rapid digitization in connected cars, which is adding to their demand. The two necessary components of vehicle autonomy - vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity - can be more easily integrated into connected cars than conventional ones.

United States Autonomous Car Market Latest Trends

The Demand for Conditional Automation is Growing Rapidly Across the County

The US autonomous car market, by the level of automation, is dominated by conditional automation (Level 3). In Level 3 automation, the autonomous vehicle driving system performs all the dynamic driving tasks, expecting the human driver to respond appropriately to the request to intervene. The dynamic driving task includes steering, braking, accelerating, and monitoring the vehicle, along with responding to events happening on the road.

Self-driving cars have already been tested and used in California, Texas, Arizona, Washington, Michigan, and other states of the United States. However, their mobility is currently restricted to specific test areas and driving conditions. Audi is the first company to come up with a Level 3 autonomous car by launching the Audi A8 in the market. However, there are few limitations for Level 3 autonomous cars, such as constant awareness needed from the driver. Thus, this makes Level 3 automation less dependable.

Consequently, several automotive manufacturers are pushing directly for level 4 autonomous cars, which do not require any inputs from humans. Cameras, RADAR, and navigation are some of the systems deployed in conditional automated cars. Various technology companies in the country are reaching new milestones in terms of total miles tested. For instance, Cruise LLC completed 2020 by doubling its figure of how far its cars can go before a safety driver needs to take over.

The company reported 27 disengagements during the 770,000 miles testing in California. During testing in 2020, the human driver had to take over every 28,520 miles compared to every 12,221 miles last year.

United States Autonomous Car Market Share

Competitive Landscape

The US autonomous car market is consolidated and is majorly dominated by a few players, such as Apple, Waymo, Tesla, Ford, Honda, BMW, Nissan, Intel, and Uber. These players have also encompassed strategies such as brand reinforcement, innovation, collaboration, and M&A to gain a higher competitive share. For instance,

  • Daimler Trucks planned to invest a total of more than EUR 2.5 billion in R&D in 2018-2019 to focus on ongoing trends of the automotive industry, such as e-mobility, connectivity, and automated commercial vehicle technology.
  • Toyota is partnering with NVIDIA Corporation to develop automated driving technologies using Artificial Intelligence, aiming to develop automated driving systems using NVIDIA's graphics processing unit technology.
  • Vietnam's domestic automaker, Vinfast, announced that it had obtained a permit to test autonomous vehicles on California's public streets. The company was seeking this permit to commercialize its electric vehicles in the US market.

Recent Developments

  • In January 2021, Baidu Apollo announced that the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) had issued a permit to Baidu. The permit will authorize the company to test driverless vehicles on public roads in the state.
  • In February 2021, Aurora announced that it entered a strategic collaboration with Toyota and Denso to build and deploy self-driving cars on a large scale. The collaboration will develop and test driverless vehicles equipped with the Aurora Driver, starting with the Toyota Sienna. By the end of 2021, companies are expecting to begun testing an initial fleet of Siennas.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Drivers

    2. 4.2 Market Restraints

    3. 4.3 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.3.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.3.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.3.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 Type

      1. 5.1.1 Fully Autonomous Vehicles

      2. 5.1.2 Semi-autonomous Vehicles

    2. 5.2 Sensors

      1. 5.2.1 RADAR

      2. 5.2.2 LIDAR

      3. 5.2.3 Ultrasonic

      4. 5.2.4 Other Sensors

    3. 5.3 Level of Automation

      1. 5.3.1 Conditional Automation (Level 3)

      2. 5.3.2 High Automation (Level 4)

      3. 5.3.3 Full Automation (Level 5)


    1. 6.1 Vendor Market Share

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles*

      1. 6.2.1 Waymo LLC

      2. 6.2.2 Tesla Inc.

      3. 6.2.3 Ford Motor Company

      4. 6.2.4 Honda Motor Company Ltd

      5. 6.2.5 Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)

      6. 6.2.6 Intel Corporation

      7. 6.2.7 Uber Technologies Inc.

      8. 6.2.8 Apple Inc.

      9. 6.2.9 Nissan


**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The US Autonomous Car Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The US Autonomous Car Market is growing at a CAGR of >17% over the next 5 years.

The US Autonomous Car Market is valued at 3 Billion USD in 2018.

The US Autonomous Car Market is valued at 8 Billion USD in 2026.

Waymo, Tesla, BMW, Intel, Uber are the major companies operating in US Autonomous Car Market.

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