When the robotaxi business gets going, it’s going to be virtually unstoppable. In fact, by 2030, the rise of automated ride-hailing vehicles could slash the number of taxis in New York City by two thirds. But can autonomous taxis yell obscenities at jaywalkers?
- UBS Evidence Labs estimates the robotaxi business could be worth $2 trillion by 2030.
- What’s more, once autonomous vehicles become prevalent, the number of taxis in NYC will be cut by two thirds.
- It identified Uber, Lyft, General Motors, and Volkswagen Group as clear leaders and chief benefactors of the coming business.
Investors are desperate to know whether ride-hailing robotaxis are actually a good business to invest in. So, they study the sector often. Recently, it was UBS Group AG’s turn to examine the automated taxi business. Their conclusion was surprising — even for a self-driving-vehicle tech evangelist like myself.
UBS Evidence Labs created a simulation of New York City in the year 2030. In this hypothetical, analysts took into account routes and riders’ connections with vehicles and optimized them. They then factored in the cost to run the robotaxis, including rates of utilization, profit margins and size and scope of required EV charging station networks required to power the self-driving cabs.
Based upon these data points, analysts concluded that the number of taxis required to service the city’s commuters could be reduced by two thirds. What’s more, they estimate the robotaxi business itself to be worth $2 trillion by that same year.
Analysts foresaw several brands we’re already familiar with reaping the benefit of this business: Uber, Lyft, General Motors, and Volkswagen Group. However, they’re not the only ones to see a boon from robotaxis. Tire brands, telecoms companies, utilities, chip makers, and internet stocks will, too.
These disparate business types will cash in on automated taxis because they’re the ones that will literally drive the vehicles. Obviously carmakers will build the robotaxis. And tiremakers will shod their wheels with rubber. However, chip makers will produce the essential semiconductors that will run the car’s robotic systems. Telecoms companies will connect the cars to 5G networks that will enable vehicle-to-vehicle and cloud computing connections. And utilities will supply the electricity required to run the vehicles.
Things are progressing more slowly in the development of self-driving tech than some previously thought as little as five years ago. However, analysts believe that once the tech hits the turning point, the adoption and growth rates will skyrocket quickly. So, you might go from seeing virtually zero robotaxis to seeing essentially only robotaxis in NYC in the span of five years.