Over the last five years, major carmakers, tech giants, and start-ups have invested more than $50bn into autonomous vehicle (AV) technology. Although there have been many financial, practical, and scientific challenges in developing these vehicles, the entire market continues growing, with many autonomous cars expected to be on the roads in the following years.
According to data presented by BuyShares, the global autonomous car market is expected to grow by 36% in the next two years and hit a $37bn value by 2023.
5.4 Million Cars With At least Level 3 Autonomy on the Roads by 2023
Autonomous cars use radar, lidar or GPS technology, and computer vision to sense their environment. The advanced control systems integrated into the car can interpret the sensory inputs to detect signboards or prevent collisions.
Although fully autonomous cars are unlikely to reach wide acceptance any time soon, Level 2 and Level 3 autonomous cars, which use collision detection, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control, are expected to witness rapid growth.
In 2019, the global autonomous car industry was worth $24.1bn, revealed the Research and Markets data. Last year, the market shrunk by some 3% due to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19. In 2021, however, the market is forecast to recover and start growing, reaching over $27bn value.
Statistics also showed that in 2019, some 1.4 million vehicles with at least Level 3 autonomy were sold worldwide. This figure is set to reach 2.7 million in 2021 and continue growing to 5.4 million by 2023.
Fully autonomous cars will not reach a wide customer base unless they are completely safe from cyber-attacks. If such concerns are solved, the autonomous car market is estimated to hit 58 million sold units by 2030.
44% of Drivers Willing to Use a Fully Autonomous Car, Safety Issues the Biggest Concern
Overcoming technological hurdles is not enough for autonomous vehicles to take off. People need to feel comfortable about riding in an autonomous vehicle to use them and buy them.
The 2021 Global Automotive Mobility Study revealed customers worldwide had similar attitudes towards autonomous cars regardless of their level of automation. Around 47% of respondents were willing to use a semi-autonomous vehicle, while 44% said they would use a fully autonomous car.
Still, the biggest concern regarding these vehicles was safety. Around 61% of respondents were worried about potential safety issues due to machine error, and some 51% of them were concerned about safety issues due to human error. Liability ranked as the third major concern with a 38% share among respondents.
One-third of consumers were unsure whether the technologies necessary for autonomous vehicles are advanced enough, while 30% of them worried about data security and privacy.
Sorry Trump Media & Technology Group, but unicorns aren’t rare anymore, says GlobalData
Following the news that Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) has entered into agreements to raise around $1 billion from a group of unidentified investors; Dr Lil Read, an Analyst in the Thematic Research Team at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:
“Reaching the unicorn club used to be a notable figure of success. However, it must be said: Sorry Mr. Trump, but unicorns aren’t rare anymore. GlobalData figures show that, there were 826 unicorns — privately held companies that are valued at >$1 billion — as of the end of September 2021, and 751 of these were tech unicorns. The term ‘unicorn’ may be born from the rare, mythical creature, but unicorns are everywhere when it comes to business. Maybe we need a new measure of success.
“As for TMTG’s wish to stand up to the ‘tyranny’ of big tech with its TRUTH social media launch, the company has bitten off more than it can chew — as demonstrated by the way Twitter users were able to create ‘@donaldtrump’ and @mikepence’ accounts, exposing simple vulnerabilities. While these accounts were swiftly banned, it should highlight to the TRUTH Social team that building and maintaining a social media platform is not a simple task. Or, perhaps creating an entirely new platform is not the way to deal with misinformation.
“Whether or not TRUTH Social has sophisticated algorithms and teams of content moderators, misinformation and fake news will breed on the platform under the guise of free speech. The risk is that TRUTH Social will become an outpost for lies.”
HealthPlus ePharmacy And First-Ever Digital Prescription Website Launched
HealthPlus, Nigeria’s first integrative pharmacy has made history by launching West Africa’s first-ever ePharmacy and digital prescription Platform. Nigerians located anywhere in the country and indeed anywhere in the world can get a prescription from a certified pharmacist and have the medicines delivered promptly.
This game changing application will facilitate the interaction between patients (customers) and health-service providers nationwide. It also marks a big step in the democratization of health in Nigeria and providing unprecedented healthcare access for Nigerians in all geographical locations.
The HealthPlus ePharmacy is attributed to a rise in the number of internet consumers, increased access to web-based and online services, and the rising implementation of e-prescriptions in hospitals and other healthcare services.
With 108 million internet users in Nigeria and an estimated 120 million mobile phone holders, HealthPlus is now able to connect more Nigerians to qualified pharmacists and fast track the provision of efficient health care.
In a statement by the Chief Transformational Officer at the launch of this unique service, Mr. Chidi Okoro remarked: “Pharmacists are the first point of care for many Nigerians and are critical to ensure access to essential drugs. The HealthPlus ePharmacy platform is following the mission to enhance access to wholesome medicines and good pharmacy care services. Customers can now access professional pharmacists online from the comfort of their homes using mobile devices.”
Nigeria is also severely under served in the aspect of pharmacy stores locations. Only 25% of Nigeria’s local governments have any sort of pharmacy. That means, 70% of Nigeria’s local government areas have no access to a pharmacist.
Chidi Okoro pledged that “HealthPlus will help bridge this gap. Furthermore Nigeria has one of the lowest productivity rates in the world. This is due to absenteeism and inadequate health care. If more Nigerians have access to health and we take a more proactive approach, productivity will increase significantly.
“In keeping with its commitment to raise the standard of care, provide safe access to wholesome medications and reduce wait times, HealthPlus is utilizing the latest technology to consolidate the compendium of care and expand our vision to our customers’ mobile devices.”
Ernest Eguasa, CFO HealthPlus Limited added that “this is a very exciting offering that combines technology and the capabilities of fast-growing sector dynamics of Healthcare and eCommerce in synergy to deliver high-quality customer-centric customer patient care. It gives our customers a channel to conveniently get a wide array of their medical needs with the added benefit of One-on-One pharmaceutical consulting through our bespoke “Chat with a Pharmacist” functionality that ensures patients are getting exactly what they require for their optimum health.”
Afsane Jetha, Managing Partner & CEO Alta Semper and HealthPlus’s private equity partner stated that “Healthcare in Africa is at an inflection point and has proven its ability to leapfrog traditional business models; it is becoming more consumer-focused and precision-driven. With this technology and platform, we are increasingly focused on preventative care and patients’ well-being, in providing access at their fingertips and the last mile.”
HealthPlus’s commitment to superior quality at reasonable cost maintains the Company’s vision to be West Africa’s most trusted healthcare retail brand, Zachary Fond, Managing Director at Alta Semper also remarked , “HealthPlus is at the forefront of being able to respond to this industry evolution, given the strength of the Company’s brand and its growing footprint nationally, we plan to dedicate further efforts to transformative initiatives aimed at integrating end-to-end healthcare services for our customers”.
The HealthPlus ePharmacy service is available on URL https://www.healthplusnigeria.com and for a limited period, our customers can access up to 10% discount on selected items.
Waffarx, First-Ever Cashback Website in North Africa, Raises New Capital
WaffarX, the first-ever cashback shopping service in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, announces it has completed a multi-million dollar financing round led by the Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Lobby Capital – for whom it is their first investment in the MENA region.
The endorsement by San Francisco-based Lobby Capital is significant for WaffarX. Lobby Capital is experienced in investing in successful cashback platforms, having been an early investor in the US firm Ebates, which was successfully sold to Japanese company, Rakuten, in 2014 – in what was Japan’s largest ecommerce deal at the time.
WaffarX will use the proceeds to expand its platform, drive user acquisition and enter new markets in the MENA region.
Founded in 2018 by Ezz Fayek, Mahmoud Montasser and Ahmed Kamal, WaffarX uses cutting-edge technology to distribute cash back rewards, helping shoppers save on every dollar they spend. WaffarX’s secure channel helps brands shift advertising spend directly to consumers via cashback rewards. This creates deeper loyalty for brands, whilst customers monetize their own data, instead of third parties.
Consumers want seamless, personalized engagement rather than disruptive advertisements – with easy-to-achieve, tangible cash rewards – transforming everyday transactions into savings. Brands want cost-effective digital advertising solutions and loyalty programs which focus on customers first and resonate with them. Brands can then incentive customers without discounting or devaluing products.
WaffarX has grown exponentially, and now has over 260 merchant partners and over 450,000 members. The company’s cutting-edge technology provides what modern consumers and merchants/brands want, and benefit both groups.
Ezz Fayek, Co-Founder and CEO of WaffarX, said:
“We’re delighted to have completed this latest funding round. The support of an esteemed Silicon Valley firm such as Lobby Capital, and existing investors – A15, are a huge endorsement of WaffarX’s business model and strategy.
“We have always been pioneers in our industry and our solutions are a win-win for consumers and brands. This capital raise will help us maintain our market leadership, break new ground in our platform, increase our user base and expand our geographic presence.”
David Hornik, General Partner of Lobby Capital, commented:
“At Lobby Capital, we know the power of the cash back shopping model to drive growth for merchants, savings for consumers, and positive returns for investors. We also know the benefit of working with great founders like Ezz Fayek. We are very excited that the right business model and right people can come together for Lobby’s first investment in the region.”
Karim Beshara, General Partner of A15, commented:
“As early investors in WaffarX we are excited to see their continued success. Ezz and the team have been thought leaders in the cash back space in MENA and we are excited to see how they continue to innovate and bring new, exciting products to market.”
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