Frost Radar in the North American Autonomous Trucking Technology Enablers Market
North America is the world’s second-largest commercial vehicle market based on annual unit sales. Commercial vehicles play a major role in determining the purchase price of consumer products: about 65% of the region’s freight is transported by road. The industry has been affected by fluctuating freight rates and significant driver shortages. According to American Transport Association, in 2018 there was a shortage of 60,800 drivers; the shortage is expected to reach 175,000 by 2025 with a wave of baby boomers retiring soon. As per the American Transport Research Institute, in 2017, driver wages and benefits accounted for about 43% of motor carrier costs.
Autonomous driving technologies would help to address some of these challenges by providing a cost-effective and safe mode of freight transport. Major fleets and logistics operators have defined autonomy in their process value chain to reduce costs and ensure long-term market sustainability. Truck manufacturers and customers realize the opportunities that autonomous technology can bring to the trucking industry, but they are also skeptical of practical usability and implementation. Regulations in some US states allow on-road testing of vehicles that are limited to defined levels of autonomy.
Ripe with opportunities, the industry is witnessing the emergence of several start-ups that want to implement full-scale autonomous truck operation on North American roads. Many of these companies are developing end-to-end technology solutions guided by camera and lidar-based vision inputs that are processed through deep learning and artificial intelligence technologies to maneuver and navigate the vehicle automatically. Although autonomous technology is at a nascent stage, implementation in commercial vehicles is seen as more immediately plausible than in passenger vehicles. Start-ups are working on autonomous layers at various stages of the freight handling journey – from first-mile to last- mile operations. Major eCommerce and logistics firms such as Amazon, Walmart, UPS, and Loadsmart are partnering with these autonomous technology enablers and are testing their applications on retrofitted trucks. Upon successful demonstration, these companies are expected to incorporate autonomous technologies in their fleets. With incremental prospects of self-driving technology, legislative bodies are also expediting the regulatory roadmap to allow implementation in phases.
The Frost Radar reveals the market positioning of companies in an industry using their Growth and Innovation scores as highlighted in the Frost Radar methodology. The document presents competitive profiles on each of the companies in the Frost Radar based on their strengths, opportunities, and a small discussion on their positioning. Frost & Sullivan analyzes hundreds of companies in the industry and benchmarks them across 10 criteria on the Frost Radar, where the leading companies in the industry are then positioned. Industry leaders on both the Growth and Innovation indices are recognized as best practice recipients.
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