The Automarket of the Future | Driving the Car from a Consumer Product to a Subscription Network

The Automarket of the Future | Driving the Car from a Consumer Product to a Subscription Network

Posted | Updated by Insights team:
Dr. Evangelo Damigos; PhD | Head of Digital Futures Research Desk
  • AI
  • Emerging Technologies

Publication | Update: Sep 2020

Research predicts that by 2050 owning a smart autonomous vehicle will become the norm for consumers. Every major automotive manufacturer will likely follow by the early 2020s. Many of the key pieces of technology necessary for the manufacturing of autonomous vehicles are continuing to decrease in cost as the technology is perfected. And while the price of a self-driving car is still outside the price range of most consumers, investor interest continues to increase.

Technology is significantly advancing for vehicles. Through the year 2030, we are likely to see more autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing. According to a PwC report, there are five main trends that will transform the auto industry through 2030. They are summed up in the acronym ‘EASCY’: electrified, autonomous, shared, connected, and yearly updated.


Today’s vehicles capable of operating without a human driver inside the vehicle still operate well below their full potential. Consider the significant cost and societal implications incurred from cars not being as safe as they can be, not monetizing data the way they theoretically can, and not being utilized as efficiently as they can. The Car of the Future — which combines advancements in AI, connectivity, computing power, and electrification — not only promises to address many of these problems, but will also potentially change personal mobility as we know it.

The automarket of the future will be a combination of RoboTaxi driverless car services, AV Subscriptions and traditional ownership.

At the end of this transformation, the auto market will be characterized by: 

1. RoboTaxi driverless car services (mobility-on-demand, or rideshares) operating mainly in urban and some urban/suburban markets. These are dedicated fleets similar to Uber today but utilizing driverless cars.

2. AV Subscriptions, i.e., driverless-capable cars that one subscribes to combining the best attributes of personal ownership with the benefits of AVs,

3. Traditional ownership in certain segments (pickups, commercial vehicles) with AV features sold as standalone options, even if they are ‘off the network.’ 

Electric vehicles (EVs) will be a critical competitive input in all three of these mobility options, since EVs can reduce the cost of ownership while addressing tailpipe emissions in urban regions (particularly important, in our view, for the RoboTaxi vertical). 

So the disruption isn’t necessarily about an auto industry going away or even shrinking (quite the opposite), but rather a drastic change of the delivery of mobility from a product to more of a network — and all the resulting changes in supply-chain economics, winners and losers within the auto industry itself, and the impact to existing industry stakeholders.  

When it comes to adoption barriers, rather, we tend to think of consumer acceptance and regulations. Human-driven cars and AVs will coexist for a long time to come, even with a rapid scaling of RoboTaxi and eventual AV Subscriptions.

Autonomous Vehicles Subscription Networks

Considering how the automotive industry is changing, the shift to EVs affords everyone in the industry the opportunity to test and refine new ownership models that will be utilized in the future. Many customers that are currently buying EVs can be considered early adopters of technology. Using early adopters as a test market for future ownership models will provide valuable insight that can be used to inform the design and implementation of future business models.

Deloitte | New market. New entrants. New challenges. | Battery Electric Vehicles


Itay Michaeli, Citi’s Auto and Auto Parts Analyst, contests that the driverless cars evolution will transition the ‘car’ from a consumer product towards more of a network — a network you can access on-demand or as a subscriber, and will likely redefine large parts of the automotive market, as well as related non-automotive verticals.

The Advantages of Autonomous Vehicles Subscription Networks

Autonomous Vehicles Subscription Networks should have a simplified payment structure, plus benefits like autonomous service, vehicle swapper, and liquid peer-to-peer loans. According to Itay Michaeli, Citi’s Auto and Auto Parts Analyst, automakers could structure monthly payments that capture the economics of vehicle maintenance, lower insurance costs, and much safer AVs. By taking control of the vehicle throughout its life, the automaker (network) could structure a compelling monthly payment for consumers by capturing the economics of vehicle maintenance, while realizing lower insurance costs from much-safer AVs. Some of those savings could be passed on to consumers as part of the monthly subscription cost. 

Illustrated AV Subscription Network scenario:

·       Assume the network sets its monthly payments (revenue) at the cost-of-ownership for a conventional car.

·       The EV/AV vehicle comes at a $ 6,000 added variable cost versus the conventional car.

·       The network, in this case an automaker, sells the vehicle to a FinCo and leases the vehicle back. We impute the leasing cost of the vehicle over the 15-year life at a $ 0 salvage value with an interest rate of 3% and a vehicle price of $ 41,000 - ($ 35,000 price + $ 6,000 of AV content.) 

·       EV range at 300 miles on a 70kWh battery at $ 0.12 electricity cost.

·       Insurance savings = 40% versus a conventional vehicle thanks to the AV sensor suite’s performing highly-advanced advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) at all times.

·       Maintenance costs savings =35% due to lower lifetime maintenance cost of an EV – (in year-9 replaces the EV battery.)

Illustrated AV Subscription Network (Cash Flow)


Based on the above, a fleet of 100,000 AV Subscribers can earn $ 2.5 billion of lifetime gross profit. This would be in addition to an estimated ~$ 900 billion RoboTaxi U.S.-revenue total addressable market. More importantly, given the sizable safety, economic, and convenience benefits that such networks could offer consumers, we could see a very rapid acceleration of AV vehicle penetration.  


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This study has assimilated knowledge and insight from business and subject-matter experts, and from a broad spectrum of market initiatives. Building on this research, the objectives of this market research report is to provide actionable intelligence on opportunities alongside the market size of various segments, as well as fact-based information on key factors influencing the market- growth drivers, industry-specific challenges and other critical issues in terms of detailed analysis and impact.

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The report also studies various growth drivers and restraints impacting the  market, plus a comprehensive market and vendor landscape in addition to a SWOT analysis of the key players.  This analysis also examines the competitive landscape within each market. Market factors are assessed by examining barriers to entry and market opportunities. Strategies adopted by key players including recent developments, new product launches, merger and acquisitions, and other insightful updates are provided.

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Forecast methodology

The future outlook “forecast” is based on a set of statistical methods such as regression analysis, industry specific drivers as well as analyst evaluations, as well as analysis of the trends that influence economic outcomes and business decision making.
The Global Economic Model is covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure. We aim update our market forecast to include the latest market developments and trends.

Forecasts, Data modelling and indicator normalisation

Review of independent forecasts for the main macroeconomic variables by the following organizations provide a holistic overview of the range of alternative opinions:

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As a result, the reported forecasts derive from different forecasters and may not represent the view of any one forecaster over the whole of the forecast period. These projections provide an indication of what is, in our view most likely to happen, not what it will definitely happen.

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Long-term projections rely on a supply-side framework, in which output is determined by the availability of labour and capital equipment and the growth in productivity.
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Direct contribution to GDP
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Forecasts of GDP growth: GDP = CN+IN+GS+NEX

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  • Net exports as a function of global economic conditions.


Market Quantification
All relevant markets are quantified utilizing revenue figures for the forecast period. The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) within each segment is used to measure growth and to extrapolate data when figures are not publicly available.


Our market segments reflect major categories and subcategories of the global market, followed by an analysis of statistical data covering national spending and international trade relations and patterns. Market values reflect revenues paid by the final customer / end user to vendors and service providers either directly or through distribution channels, excluding VAT. Local currencies are converted to USD using the yearly average exchange rates of local currencies to the USD for the respective year as provided by the IMF World Economic Outlook Database.

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Market phase is determined using factors in the Industry Life Cycle model. The adapted market phase definitions are as follows:

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  • Growth: Growth trajectory picks up; high growth rates

  • Mature: Typically fewer firms than growth phase, as dominant solutions continue to capture the majority of market share and market consolidation occurs, displaying lower growth rates that are typically on par with the general economy

  • Decline: Further market consolidation, rapidly declining growth rates


The Global Economic Model
The Global Economic Model brings together macroeconomic and sectoral forecasts for quantifying the key relationships.

The model is a hybrid statistical model that uses macroeconomic variables and inter-industry linkages to forecast sectoral output. The model is used to forecast not just output, but prices, wages, employment and investment. The principal variables driving the industry model are the components of final demand, which directly or indirectly determine the demand facing each industry. However, other macroeconomic assumptions — in particular exchange rates, as well as world commodity prices — also enter into the equation, as well as other industry specific factors that have been or are expected to impact.

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Wherever possible, publicly available data from official sources are used for the latest available year. Qualitative indicators are normalised (on the basis of: Normalised x = (x - Min(x)) / (Max(x) - Min(x)) where Min(x) and Max(x) are, the lowest and highest values for any given indicator respectively) and then aggregated across categories to enable an overall comparison. The normalised value is then transformed into a positive number on a scale of 0 to 100. The weighting assigned to each indicator can be changed to reflect different assumptions about their relative importance.


The principal explanatory variable in each industry’s output equation is the Total Demand variable, encompassing exogenous macroeconomic assumptions, consumer spending and investment, and intermediate demand for goods and services by sectors of the economy for use as inputs in the production of their own goods and services.

Elasticity measures the response of one economic variable to a change in another economic variable, whether the good or service is demanded as an input into a final product or whether it is the final product, and provides insight into the proportional impact of different economic actions and policy decisions.
Demand elasticities measure the change in the quantity demanded of a particular good or service as a result of changes to other economic variables, such as its own price, the price of competing or complementary goods and services, income levels, taxes.
Demand elasticities can be influenced by several factors. Each of these factors, along with the specific characteristics of the product, will interact to determine its overall responsiveness of demand to changes in prices and incomes.
The individual characteristics of a good or service will have an impact, but there are also a number of general factors that will typically affect the sensitivity of demand, such as the availability of substitutes, whereby the elasticity is typically higher the greater the number of available substitutes, as consumers can easily switch between different products.
The degree of necessity. Luxury products and habit forming ones, typically have a higher elasticity.
Proportion of the budget consumed by the item. Products that consume a large portion of the consumer’s budget tend to have greater elasticity.
Elasticities tend to be greater over the long run because consumers have more time to adjust their behaviour.
Finally, if the product or service is an input into a final product then the price elasticity will depend on the price elasticity of the final product, its cost share in the production costs, and the availability of substitutes for that good or service.

Prices are also forecast using an input-output framework. Input costs have two components; labour costs are driven by wages, while intermediate costs are computed as an input-output weighted aggregate of input sectors’ prices. Employment is a function of output and real sectoral wages, that are forecast as a function of whole economy growth in wages. Investment is forecast as a function of output and aggregate level business investment.