ARK expects that before 2020 fully autonomous vehicles will become commercially available, enabling the rise and rapid growth of autonomous taxi networks. These networks should decrease the cost and inconvenience of point-to-point mobility dramatically, spurring a transformative boost in economic productivity. As a result, the traditional automotive industry may be subsumed by mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platforms that could become one of the most valuable investment opportunities in public equity markets.

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ARK expects autonomous taxi services to be commercially available in 2019. By the late 2020s, autonomous taxis should be the dominant form of door-to-door mobility. ARK estimates that autonomous taxis will cost consumers $0.35 cents per mile, or roughly half of the all-in cost car owners pay to drive today, thanks to much higher utilization rates. These compelling economics should drive widespread adoption of autonomous taxi networks. ARK expects traffic to increase almost three-fold by 2030. Autonomous taxi platforms will allow the non-driving population, which includes the blind, elderly, and young teens, affordable and convenient transportation options. While traffic likely will increase, autonomous cars should operate more efficiently and should give passengers a more pleasant experience than just sitting behind the wheel. Autonomous cars should cause a shift away from personally owned vehicles, depressing global auto sales volumes in the coming decades. ARK’s research shows that auto sales will fall by nearly half in developed markets. In the developing world, auto volumes will likely increase over the long term, but at a rate much slower than expected today. While a loss in future auto sales may seem like bad news for the economy, by 2035, ARK predicts that autonomous taxis will add more than $2 trillion to GDP in the U.S. alone. Among these economic benefits, ARK sees additional service revenue, more discretionary time for passengers relieved of driving responsibilities, and higher capital returns from repurposing land once used for parking lots. ARK’s research shows that the global autonomous mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) market will exceed $10 trillion in gross revenue by the early 2030s.i Roughly a third of those sales will happen in China.ii In the United States, ARK expects the MaaS market to reach over $700 billion in sales by 2030, or more than 30 times the size of the taxi industry today.iii The market for autonomous services should be roughly ten times the size of the market for autonomous vehicle hardware by 2030, as shown below.

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