Automated Trucks Making Inroads, Disrupting the Conventional Truck Industry

Amid a sea full of trends driving innovation at top gear in the automotive industry, automated trucks are overtaking and speeding towards rapid adoption in end-use industries. The trend of electric vehicles has been turning the automated truck arena green, which makes it easier for manufacturers to move past the hurdles of environmental regulations.

Shortage of drivers, however, in developed countries, has offered a significant boost to the scramble of numerous industries towards automated trucks, which is likely to remain a crucial driver to their growing adoption rate. An acute rise in the sales of automated trucks requires a thorough assessment to gauge the growth prospects of the overall landscape.

Transparency Market Research (TMR), in its latest study, uncovers significant trends that provide the key indicators

of the impending changes that are poised to supplement the evolution of the automated truck market, so as to assist stakeholders in devising sustainable growth strategies over the course of the forecast period.

Automated Truck Market Strategy

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Gains Likely from the Crossroads Where Productivity Meets Safety

Riding on the back of innovation, the automated truck industry has been, and will continue to witness major breakthroughs during the forecast period. As the logistics industry moves with the waves of automation and digitization, automated trucks are integral for expanding the industry’s competency to flex with the surging demand. In 2018, the sales of 93 automated trucks reached a closure, which corresponds to a value of US$ 104.1 Mn.

As numerous industries seek process efficiency with minimum human intervention, the adoption of automated trucks will remain high during the forecast period. Manufacturers rely on the development of automated trucks with enhanced productivity, optimized traffic management, reduced fuel consumption, and ensured safety.

With 5G technology speed, the computation of driving decisions in automated trucks will be almost instant, which will optimize the process efficiency for end-use industries. However, high infrastructural costs associated with the development of automated trucks are likely to create an entry barrier for new players in this market space.

Mining Industry to Lose Dominance as Demand for Automated Trucks Evolves in the Logistics Industry

The surging digital shopping behavior of consumers has increased the appetite for streamlined logistics among fleet management companies that seek reduced operational costs. As such, the logistics industry is running at the forefront of the adoption curve of automated trucks.

The mining industry is likely to remain an attractive end-use industry through 2019, as mining companies are deliberating efforts towards enhancing their output capacities to meet the surging demand for minerals from manufacturing industries. Post 2019, rapid rise is e-Commerce portals and their demand for logistics is likely to pale the market share of the mining industry, in terms of value.

Level 5 automated trucks remain highly preferable in the mining industry, as they function without any driver assistance, and operate with the help of cloud data and artificial intelligence. However, level 3 automated trucks will overtake the adoption rate of level 5 automated trucks, and account for ~ 40% of the total market share at the end of the forecast period, as truck platooning will form an integral part of automated trucks. Additionally, the high cost of level 5 automated trucks will divert sales to level 3 automated trucks.

Through to 2027, Asia Pacific is likely to remain a key automated truck market, as the demand for automated trucks for mining activities has been surging in Australia, and improved road infrastructures is likely to bump up their sales in the logistics industry as well. Furthermore, shortage in the number of drivers in developed regions such as the U.S. and Japan will remain a significant opportunity for the penetration of automated trucks in these regions.

Though the automated truck market has been witnessing unprecedented growth, protests by truck driver committees and organizations are likely to impede its smooth ride. However, proper education becomes necessary, as automated trucks will replace tasks, not jobs. This, when comprehended well, will weaken the opposition of drivers.

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Growth Factors for the Automated Truck Market

Automated trucks are self-driven trucks; however, there is a certain level of autonomy according to the required effort and assistance provided by the vehicle. The rising shortage of truck drivers in developed nations such as the U.S., Canada, and Japan is likely to boost the demand for automated trucks. Primarily, the mining and logistics industries are driving the demand for automated trucks. The high work capability of automated trucks in mines as well as the logistics industry is a key factor for the increased preference for automated trucks over manually-driven trucks. Active automated mines in Australia is an example of the high efficiency and work capability of automated trucks.

  • The capability of automated trucks to drive continuously for longer hours is anticipated to propel the demand for autonomous trucks.
  • Significant investments are being made by key truck manufacturers such as Daimler, Volvo, and Komatsu Corporation towards the development of autonomous trucks.
  • Low operating cost of logistics companies due to high fuel-efficiency of these vehicle and the requirement of fewer number of drivers drive demand.
  • Increasing shortage of drivers in North America is likely to fuel the demand for autonomous trucks at a significant pace.
  • There are low chances of accidents due to the absence of human intervention in autonomous trucks, as most accidents occur due to human error.