What will driving be like in 2030

In 2030, there will be 80 million fewer cars on the road in Europe

Vienna - Fewer cars, but probably still more traffic: This is the forecast of a study by the consulting firm PwC on individual mobility in 2030. The experts pinpoint two main factors as the causes of this development: the increasing use of car sharing models In twelve years' time, 35 percent of the total mileage in Europe will be lost, as will progress in the development of self-driving cars. PwC thus comes to the conclusion that despite an increase in the number of kilometers driven per person by 23 percent, the number of vehicles in Europe will decrease from the current 280 to around 200 million.

"In the course of the automotive revolution, many rules to which the industry has become accustomed over decades are being turned upside down," says Horst Bernegger, partner and automotive expert at PwC Austria, with a view to the trend towards car sharing models. "Today's normal case that most people drive their own car themselves will in a few years only be one mobility concept among many."

Robotaxis on Europe's roads

One consequence of the car sharing and autonomous driving trends will be their mixture, ie shared self-driving cars, which Pwc calls "robotaxis". Since they will also cover many kilometers without passengers to pick up the next passenger, they contribute a lot to the increasing total kilometers traveled. The result will be more cars on the road, but significantly fewer in parking lots, as the downtime per vehicle will be reduced. Nevertheless, Bernegger does not see a permanent traffic blackout on the roads in 2030, because: "Thanks to increasing networking, individual transport will be much easier to organize in the future."

Since car sharing and autonomous driving will lead to faster wear and tear of vehicles, PwC expects an increase in annual new registrations in Europe by a third to 24 million vehicles in 2030. Incidentally, around 55 percent of these will be equipped with an electric drive, the classic combustion engine says the consulting company, however, a slow extinction before.

Additional competition

"Automobile manufacturers and their suppliers will have to make important decisions for their companies in the coming years," announced Bernegger. In order to achieve the higher volumes of new vehicles, additional investments would have to be made in new production capacities - and this with margins tending to fall due to the expected price pressure from leading fleet operators. In addition, the classic manufacturers face additional competition from new competitors from the technology industry. "Anyone who wants to remain successful in the long term," concludes Bernegger, "must either assert themselves as a clear innovation leader on the product side - or understand mobility as a service and offer their customers easy-to-use, convenient and affordable offers." (aha, January 16, 2018)