Self-Driving Cars Could Generate Billions by 2025

Mar 05, 2015 07:00 AM EST | Matt Mercuro

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If you're thinking of getting involved in the automotive industry in some capacity, self-driving cars might be the way to go.

Self-driving cars could generate billions in revenue from mobile internet services and products, even if people only spend a fraction of their time on the web, according to a study released this week by McKinsey & Company.

The study also says that widespread adoption of self-driving vehicles could lead to a 90 percent reduction in U.S. vehicle crashes. Autonomous cars could save $200 billion a year in fewer injuries and deaths.

The study also discusses a number of risks to established companies, like dealers, vehicle manufacturers and insurance companies.

"People will be able to shop for services or products from their mobile devices or from embedded systems in the vehicle," said Hans-Werner Kaas, senior partner and head of McKinsey's automotive practice, according to McKinsey.

McKinsey believes those who do purchase a self-driving car in the future will save around 50 minutes a day, time that could be spent online surfing the web. More free time to search the web could generate nearly $5.6 billion a year in digital revenue for each additional minute occupants spend on the internet.

Revenues would likely be divided among vehicle manufacturers, software and hardware suppliers, web-based providers of services, goods and information, according to the study.

A number of traditional automakers, like Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, are already starting to implement advanced driver assistance systems on their vehicles. Some of the problems they may have to deal with includes dealing with hackers and non-traditional companies that don't have legacy vehicle platforms.

Outside challengers include Tesla Motors and tech giants like Apple and Google, who are both supposedly working on self-driving vehicles.

The shift to self-driving cars could be a gradual one, according to the study. Most automakers don't expect the industry to start accelerating until around 2025.

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