Canalys: US sales of cars with level 2 driving automation features grow 322% in Q1 2019

Palo Alto, Shanghai, Singapore and Reading (UK) – Tuesday, 28 May 2019

According the latest research from Canalys, sales of cars with level 2 driving automation in the US grew 322% in Q1 2019 against Q1 2018. Level 2 features assist the driver, who must remain fully engaged, by controlling more than one driving function, such as steering, acceleration and braking, in combination, under certain road, weather and speed conditions. Over 250,000 cars with level 2 functionality were sold, accounting for 7% of new cars, up from less than 2% a year ago. The growth was driven by mainstream car brands that include the features, as standard or as an option, in new models. 

“Nissan and Toyota, both top five brands by total vehicles sold in the US, added level 2 driving functionality to the new versions of popular models in late 2018. More than 50% of cars sold with level 2 driving features in Q1 2019 came from Nissan and Toyota, bringing the early stages of driving automation to the mass market by overtaking premium brands, such as Tesla, BMW, Audi and Volvo,” said Chris Jones, Chief Analyst at Canalys.

In Europe, cars sold with level 2 features also grew strongly, by 71% in Q1 2019, to represent 4.5% of new cars sold. “BMW and Volvo currently lead the way in Europe, but as seen in the US, as mainstream brands introduce the functionality to more new models, numbers will grow dramatically,” Jones added. “Yet much more needs to be done by the manufacturers to educate drivers on these particular new features.  As the availability of cars with level 2 driving increases, it is vital that drivers understand the capabilities of the individual systems and use them as intended – these are not self-driving cars.”     

Level 2 definition

The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) defines the levels of driving automation. With level 2, the human driver must be fully engaged and monitor the environment at all times. Under certain conditions, the vehicle can take control of more than one driving function, such as steering, acceleration and braking, in combination. Examples of systems that meet the definition include Autopilot from Tesla, Pilot Assist from Volvo and ProPILOT Assist from Nissan.  


For more information, please contact:

Canalys EMEA: +44 118 984 0520
Chris Jones: +44 7867 389 7275
Kelly Wheeler: +44 118 984 0529

Canalys APAC (Shanghai): +86 21 2225 2888
Nicole Peng: +86 21 2225 2815
Mo Jia: +86 21 2225 2812

Canalys APAC (Singapore): +65 6671 9399
Rushabh Doshi: +65 6671 9387
Shengtao Jin: +65 6657 9303

Canalys Americas: +1 650 681 4488
Vincent Thielke: +1 650 656 9016
Marcy Ryan: +1 650 681 4487

About Canalys

Canalys is an independent analyst company that strives to guide clients on the future of the technology industry and to think beyond the business models of the past. We deliver smart market insights to IT, channel and service provider professionals around the world. We stake our reputation on the quality of our data, our innovative use of technology and our high level of customer service.

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