Autonomous Trains Components Market – Snapshot
Autonomous trains is an advanced railway transport system coupled with sophisticated technologies in order to augment their safe operation. Autonomous trains are completely automatic and possess their own intelligence communication system (CBTC -Communication based train control) that decides their movement such as how much distance has been traveled, where to stop, when to stop, and other obstacles. Technologically advanced systems are adopted in these trains, which include Automatic Train Operation (ATO), Automatic Train Protection (ATP), Driverless Train Automation (DTO), Automatic Train Control (ATC), Semi-Automatic Train Operation (STO), and Unattended Train Operation (UTO) in order to operate these trains without the aid of a driver, thereby increasing safety of the passengers. These trains are furnished with high-powered vision cameras, latest sensors, antennae, LiDAR, GPS data, and onboard computer systems. Operation of the autonomous train is achieved through different components that can be automated and based on the mechanization of components, the Grades of Automation (GoA) are decided. The autonomous train also contains the passenger safety technology, which are a part of the autonomous train protection system.
Railways are considered the most adept and safe means of transport, as compared to roadways, owing to the limited number of accidents chronicled. Autonomous trains are fully automated and operate using advanced electronic appliances and machinery, unlike conventional trains, which have to follow their own old signaling systems and the drivers are completely responsible for the safe movement of the trains. Autonomous trains offer greater reliability, efficiency, performance, and safety, as compared to conventional trains. This is expected to be a key factor driving the autonomous train components market during the forecast period. Increasing government support across the world for incorporation of automation in trains, as they are economical and a safe means of transport, is expected to boost the autonomous trains components market during the forecast period. Implementation of automation technologies in trains is likely to prove more beneficial in reducing the number of accidents and pollution, reducing the load on fossil fuels, and increasing efficiency. However, the cost of train automation is very high, which is anticipated to hamper the autonomous trains components market, coupled with the high possibility of hacking the system.
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Continuous research and development in the field of automation technology, increased concentration of manufacturers on developing components and trains deployed with certain grade of automation are expected to propel the autonomous trains components market during the forecast period.
The LiDAR module component segment accounts for a major share of the market owing to its ability to detect objects in low visibility conditions; and hence, is expected to offer lucrative opportunities, thereby boosting the global autonomous trains components market during the forecast period. The LiDAR module produces a 2D or 3D geographic point cloud data by a rotating laser beam and works even better at night. Advanced research in the field of LiDAR is reducing the cost of the module, thereby making it economical. Hence, the segment is expected to witness significant expansion by 2025.
In terms of grades, the autonomous trains components market can be segregated into GoA1 + GoA2, GoA3, and GoA4. GoA1 trains consist of ATP with driver, and all other components are operated manually. GoA2 trains have ATP and ATO with driver, automatic accelerating and stopping of train, and other functions are controlled manually. In the GoA3 trains, the train is operated automatically without the aid of a driver. In these trains, setting the train in motion and stopping the train are performed automatically, doors are operated by the train attendant. In GoA3 trains, stopping the train in case of disruption is done by the train attendant. GoA4 trains are fully automated and are unattended.
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In terms of train type, the autonomous trains components market can be segmented into long distance train, monorails, subways/metro, and others. Subways/metros have a higher rate of automation and the segment accounts for a major share of the market, as compared to the other segments. Monorails were developed in Germany in the 1990s, and the penetration of monorail is increasing in other regions.
In terms of region, the autonomous trains components market has been classified into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Currently, Asia Pacific dominates the global autonomous trains components market. Increased rate of train track laying, awareness about the technologies, and government support for the implementation of the autonomous technologies in trains are key factors driving the autonomous trains components market in Asia Pacific.
Benefits of train transportation, increased emphasis of governing bodies for automation of railways, and future scope for automation are prompting global key players to develop technologically advanced trains. Consequently, key players are focusing on mergers, acquisitions, and collaboration amongst them and governing bodies of different countries. Prominent players operating in the autonomous trains components market include Thales Group, Alstom S.A., Hitachi Ltd., Bombardier Transportation, Ansaldo STS, SIEMENS AG, Mitsubishi Electric, and CRRC Corporation Limited.