In 2023, new light vehicle sales are expected to fall 7.0% as the global economic slowdown dampens consumer spending on large items such as new cars. Yet the year will continue to be an inflection point for the automotive and mobility industries, shaped by growing sustainability pressures, technological advancements and shifting consumer preferences. This includes the growing shift to automated vehicles, the rapid transition to sustainable fuels and powertrains, and opportunities for shared mobility companies to embrace mobility as a service (MaaS).

    Autonomous cars: 2023 will be a record year for autonomous vehicles

    Despite declining new light-duty vehicle sales due to slowing economic growth, 2023 will be a banner year for semi- and fully autonomous vehicles, as advances in technology power advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving algorithms.

    In 2023, SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Level 3 light-duty vehicle sales are expected to increase by 216% compared to 2022 and will see a number of automotive brands launch highly automated vehicles, including Hyundai’s Genesis G90 sedan. and Kia’s EV9 sport utility vehicle (SUV). ).

    2023 will also be a big year for SAE Level 4 cars with sales expected to increase 150-fold, largely due to a low base in 2022. Japan plans to license a limited number of SAE Level cars 4 on its roads from April 2023, opening the door to robotaxis and driverless buses.

    However, regulations will remain a bottleneck for autonomous vehicles, with many countries still requiring a driver to maintain control of a vehicle on public roads. This relates to laws and policies that are lacking in cases where automated vehicles contribute to accidents or commit traffic violations.The top three automotive and mobility trends in 2023 Figure 1.svgNote: 2023 values ​​are forecast. SAE levels are defined below:
    Level 0 – No driving automation: functionality limited to providing warnings and momentary assistance.
    Level 1 – Driving Assistance: Provides steering or braking/acceleration assistance.
    Level 2 – Partial Steering Automation: Provides steering and braking/acceleration assistance.
    Level 3 – Conditional Driving Automation: the vehicle can drive itself under limited conditions; however, the driver may still need to take over in some cases. The vehicle operates under limited conditions.
    Level 4 – High Driving Automation​: the vehicle can drive itself under limited conditions; however, the driver does not need to regain control of the vehicle.
    Level 5 – Full Driving Automation: the vehicle can operate autonomously in all conditions.

    Clean mobility: electric vehicles will continue to increase in the face of growing competition from hydrogen

    2023 will again be a banner year for electric vehicles (EVs). In 2023, 19% of new passenger car registrations will be electric – battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) – compared to 14% in 2022. China will remain the largest market for electric vehicles in 2023 with 62% of global registrations, followed by 21% in Europe and 10% in the United States.

    However, 2023 will also be a big year for hydrogen cars, with some automakers seeing its potential as a promising solution for sustainable mobility. Honda is expected to launch its CR-V fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) with a dual-fuel system consisting of a battery for conventional charging and a fuel cell that can be powered by hydrogen. Additionally, BMW, in partnership with Toyota, plans to launch the hydrogen-powered iX5 for fleet services in 2023.

    Despite the promising outlook, hydrogen remains a tricky frontier for mobility and automotive companies, mainly due to the high cost of fuel processing, safety aspects regarding flammability and the lack of hydrogen refill facilities. . Thus, the shift to sustainable mobility is still expected to remain largely with electric vehicles in 2023, with hydrogen being a longer-term solution.
    Top three automotive and mobility trends in 2023 Figure 2.svg

    Shared mobility: market consolidation in a context of economic slowdown and transition to MaaS

    Shared mobility is expected to reach gross bookings of $214 billion (constant 2022 prices), up 4.3% year-on-year. Yet, amid a slowing global economy, growth will remain weak as consumers and businesses reduce transportation spending.

    This should challenge unprofitable companies that have relied on venture capital funds to stay afloat. This follows a difficult year in 2022 for shared mobility which saw Volkswagen sell its WeShare car-sharing service to Berlin-based mobility player Miles in November 2022, and similarly formed SHARE NOW. by Daimler’s Car2Go and BMW’s DriveNow, sold to Stellantis in July 2022. 2023 is likely to see further market consolidation in the shared mobility industry as venture capital dries up and companies are forced to reassess their business models .

    Still, it will be an exciting year for MaaS – all-in-one applications integrating many modes of mobility through an integrated reservation and payment solution. It comes as governments focus on promoting sustainable travel in cities by reducing private car journeys, while shared mobility companies seek to reinvent their business models through strategic partnerships for better profitability. While MaaS remains a major opportunity, it must overcome challenges such as data sharing between transport operators and provide more flexible pricing models for users.

    For more insights and analysis, please read our report, Digital Payments in Mobility Index 2022: Where to Play Next?

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