This study explores the potential impact of per capita gross domestic product (GDP) changes on the adoption of autonomous vehicles (AVs). The level of adoption of AVs is anticipated to influence the benefits of future mobility, prompting numerous studies that forecast the market share of AVs using various methods. The influence of changes in the per capita GDP on vehicle ownership is crucial in assessing the challenges associated with reducing dependence on AVs in the future. This phenomenon, known as the hysteresis effect, implies that AV adoption estimates may differ when the GDP is rising as opposed to when it is falling. This research examines the effect of rising and falling GDP per capita on the anticipated AV diffusion in Hungary, utilising a scenario-based method to account for the variation in adoption rates in the literature. The study findings indicate that declines in GDP in the past will impact AV ownership, leading to a shift in future adoption patterns. The AV market is projected to reach saturation in the 2070s and the 2090s in favourable and moderate scenarios, respectively, while a pessimistic state would delay this outcome until after the year 2100.
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