Obviously, it is still too early to reliably estimate market sizes and growth rates for CV-based DSSs. It is tempting, however, to speculate about the boundary conditions for such a market in the future.
Due to the continuous push towards increased efficiency, safety, and comfort in road vehicles, all kinds of electronic devices have already begun to invade the automobile. It thus appears natural to assume that many of the hooks required for the installation of a DSS - such as, for example, sensors and medium to high speed digital buses as well as electronically activated actuators (drive-by-wire) - will already have been introduced into cars independently of a DSS.
An order of magnitude estimate for the DSS market proper might be provided by the following consideration: the cost of a DSS will be proportional to that of a video-equipped Multimedia PC as it is sold today for less than 10 000 DM. On the hypothesis that the price for such equipment will be halved - even with substantially increased capabilities - during the next five years due to the booming consumer market, it would correspond to about 10 % of the price of an upper middle class sedan and an even smaller fraction of the price of a bus or truck.
On the assumption that initially less than 1 % of all road vehicles newly produced worldwide per year will be equipped with a DSS at the price tag of 5 000 DM, about 200 000 to 300 000 such systems might be sold annually - which would constitute a market worth about a billion DM, starting possibly already in five years. In analogy to the introduction of radios, AntiBlockingSystems (ABS), or automatic gear shifts into automobiles, it does not appear irresponsible to predict a further halving of the price tag for a DSS over the ten year period following its introduction, accompanied by an annual increase in the fraction of road vehicles equipped by such a system from 1 % to 10 %. Ten years from now, this would yield a rate of 5 % of the annual road vehicle output or 2 million DSSs per year, corresponding to a market of 4-5 billion DM annually worldwide. Even under the assumption of drastically falling prices, this would result in a sustained period with 50 % growth of the DSS market annually after its introduction. Since this market constitutes an add-on market - i. e. it does not require to install a completely new sales and maintainance organisation from scratch, but may gradually evolve from current vehicle electronics - the figures do not appear outright unrealistic.