Seeing The Road Ahead: AV Computer Perception Outlook 2030

We’re excited to introduce the first in a series of notes based on our deep dive into computer perception for autonomous vehicles. Autonomy is a question of when? not if? In this series, we’ll outline our thoughts on timing, winners, and losers. 

We are quickly approaching a paradigm shift in transportation as adoption of fully autonomous vehicles begins. While we are still 2 to 3 years away from Level 4/5 self-driving vehicles on the road, the key technologies that will enable fully autonomous driving are in development today. These technologies range from advanced computer hardware to machine learning algorithms, but the road to full autonomy begins with a car gaining “human level” perception of the vehicle’s environment.

To obtain human level perception, self-driving vehicles will primarily use sensor technologies such as LiDARs, RADARs, and Cameras. Self-driving vehicles are equipped with multiple units of each of these technologies; we see the computer perception market eclipsing $55B by 2030 and continuing to grow as more autonomous vehicles enter the world.

Technology Overview and Key Market Players. Click on the gray toggles below to get an overview of the key sensing technologies, as well as identify market leaders.

Source: Loup Ventures

Sensor Use Cases. The exhibit below identifies specific use cases for which each sensor is utilized in a passenger vehicle.

Source: Loup Ventures

Computer Perception Analysis. Each of the three core computer perception technologies has advantages and disadvantages. We view RADAR, LiDAR, and cameras more complementary than competitive, and we believe self-driving vehicles (defined as Level 4/5 automation) will need to incorporate all three technologies to achieve full autonomy.

$55B Market Opportunity By 2030. Self-driving vehicles will be equipped with multiple units of each of these technologies. In total, we see the autonomous vehicle (AV) computer perception market eclipsing $55B by 2030.

We see the autonomous vehicle (AV) computer perception market eclipsing $55B by 2030.

See our in-depth model on Computer Perception for Autonomous Vehicles here. Over the next few years, the bulk of this market will be driven by demand for camera and RADAR systems use for advanced-driving-assistance-systems (ADAS) in Level 1 and 2 autonomous cars. However, as higher volumes of fully autonomous vehicles (Level 4/5) hit the roads in 2020, we believe the LiDAR market will see a meaningful inflection. By 2030 LiDAR will represent an $18B market, and grow at a 44% CAGR over that time period. The camera and RADAR market will also see double-digit annual growth and equate to $19B and $16B markets, respectively, in 2030. Note our forecast is driven by our 2040 Auto Outlook and only includes passenger vehicles. When factoring in heavy duty trucks and semis the computer perception market could be 1.5 – 2x larger.

Disclaimer: We actively write about the themes in which we invest: virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and robotics. From time to time, we will write about companies that are in our portfolio.  Content on this site including opinions on specific themes in technology, market estimates, and estimates and commentary regarding publicly traded or private companies is not intended for use in making investment decisions. We hold no obligation to update any of our projections. We express no warranties about any estimates or opinions we make.