Strategic Outlook for Autonomous Heavy-duty Trucks
Summary of Key Findings
Autonomous trucks and associated enabling technologies will be a major trend in the trucking industry over the forecast period.
Autonomous Heavy-duty Truck Market: Summary of Key Findings, Western Europe and North America, 2014–2025
Autonomous trucks are expected to enter the mass market as early as 2025, when global production will start slowly and reach an estimated units. As autonomous enabling technologies reach maturity and scalability, Frost & Sullivan projects a global production total of units by 2035. Level 4 fully autonomous trucks are not expected before 2035.
The technology to produce an autonomous truck is available today, but it would drive the cost of a tractor up by an estimated $to $. Many regions of the world are highly price sensitive and will not adopt these technologies unless mandated by the government. Investments in a vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) —together known as V2X—communication network are also needed for autonomous truck safety in on-road applications.
Long-haul applications are expected to be optimal for autonomous trucks because they provide the ideal platform—long miles driven, lifecycle, and driver environment—for return on investment (ROI) within years. Autonomous vehicles are already used in hazardous environments for defense, agriculture, and mining.
Japanese (Hino) and European (Daimler, Volvo) original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have taken the lead in autonomous truck research. Daimler in 2014 unveiled the world’s first autonomous truck demonstration, while Volvo and Hino have been major participants in, respectively, the Safe Road Trains for the Environment (SARTRE) and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) truck platooning projects. Competition is intensifying as many OEMs in the trucking industry vie to be the first to market with autonomous enabling technologies that would provide a strong brand differentiation advantage.
Government regulations and insurance liability issues involving autonomous trucks are the biggest hurdles for on-road applications, specifically in areas such as hours of service (HOS) rules, cybersecurity, and network communication (e.g., dedicated short-range communication [DSRC], V2X). New and updated regulations that support autonomous trucks are vital to the viability of these vehicles.
About this report
This research service analyzes the European and North American heavy-duty autonomous truck market. It includes an assessment of market dynamics, including industry challenges; market and technology trends, drivers and restraints, and forecasts; and Mega Trend implications. Forecasts will examine the feasibility of autonomous trucks in the trucking industry with regard to business models, freight logistics, driver solutions, and estimated timelines. Insights about the competitive environment of leading market participants (original equipment manufacturers and Tier I suppliers) are included. The study period is from 2014 to 2025, with an outlook to 2035. The base year is 2014.
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