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Strategic Outlook for Autonomous Heavy-duty Trucks

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.


  • Executive Summary
    • Summary of Key Findings
    • Top Market Trends Driving Autonomous Technologies in Trucks
    • How OEMs will Differentiate their Brand in the Future
    • Autonomous Commercial Vehicle Incremental Cost Analysis
    • Automated Driving Benchmark
    • Value Proposition of Automated Commercial Vehicles
    • Penetration Phases by Vocation
    • Automated Commercial Vehicles by Application
    • Regulatory Changes Necessary for Accelerating Autonomous Trucks
    • Key Implications on Human Factors
    • Taxonomy of Future Automated Driving Business Models
    • Comparative Benchmark-Truck OEM Autonomous Capabilities
    • Snapshot of Global Automated Truck Adoption, 2025 and 2035
    • Autonomous Truck Outlook
  • Research Scope, Objectives, Background, and Methodology
    • Research Scope
    • Research Aims and Objectives
    • Key Questions this Study Will Answer
    • Research Background
    • Research Methodology
    • OEM Groups Compared in this Study
  • Definitions and Segmentation
    • Automated Driving Definitions
  • Mega Trends and Industry Convergence Implications
    • Mega Trends Driving the Future of Autonomous Commercial Vehicles
  • Introduction and Key Trends
    • Autonomous Truck Outlook
    • Benefits of Vehicle Automation
    • Taxonomy of Future Automated Driving Business Models
    • Focus Areas of Key Stakeholders
    • Top Market Trends Driving Autonomous Technologies in Trucks
    • Penetration Phases by Vocation
    • Phases of Automated Commercial Vehicle Usage
    • Key Industry Challenges for Autonomous Trucks
    • Shortage of Trained Technicians
  • Special Focus-Truck Platooning
    • Truck Platooning
    • Business Models for Truck Platooning
    • Truck Platooning-Fleet Angle
  • Supporting Technologies Overview
    • Key Technology Enablers for Automated Driving
    • Technologies Required for Various Levels of Vehicle Automation
    • Automated Driving-Application Roadmap
    • Freight Logistics of Fleets Using Autonomous Driving Technologies
    • V2X Technology Evolution for Piloting Autonomous Trucks
    • Vision of the Future-Smart Connected Trucks, Roads, and Cities
    • Convergence of ADAS and Connectivity for Autonomous Driving
    • Cybersecurity for Autonomous Commercial Vehicles
    • Cybersecurity and Data Encryption
  • Human Factors Associated with Automated Vehicles
    • HWW of Aging Truck Drivers
    • Key Implications on Human Factors
    • System Characteristics and HMI Development
    • Vision of Autonomous Commercial Vehicles from a Driver's Perspective
    • Managing Control and Supervision
  • Cost of Autonomous Commercial Vehicles
    • North American Cost of Trucking-2014
    • Western European Cost of Trucking-2014
    • Autonomous Commercial Vehicle Incremental Cost Analysis
    • Benchmark by Vocation-Autonomous Trucks Implications
    • Benchmark by Vocation-Autonomous Truck Implications
    • Value Proposition of Automated Commercial Vehicles
  • Market Drivers, Restraints, and Global Penetration Forecast
    • Market Drivers
    • Market Restraints
    • Autonomous Truck Adoption Scenario Analysis
    • Snapshot of Global Automated Truck Adoption, 2025 and 2035
    • Snapshot of Global Automated Truck Adoption, 2025 and 2035 Analysis
  • Autonomous Driving Technologies Roadmap
    • Disparate Safety Systems Enabling Autonomous Trucks
    • Transmission Technology Installation Forecasts
    • Global Heavy-duty Truck Safety Systems Adoption Hot Spots
    • Safety Systems Technology Roadmap
    • Sensor Technologies Roadmap
    • Automated Vehicle Electrical/Electronic Architecture Roadmap
    • Communications Technology Roadmap
    • Localization Roadmap
    • Localization Technology Outlook
    • Communication Network Evolution
  • Regulatory and Societal Environment
    • Regulatory Changes Necessary for Accelerating Autonomous Trucks
    • Validation and Testing of Automated Vehicles
    • Impact of Current Regulations
    • Insurer Perspective
    • Automated Driving-Societal Impact Roadmap
  • OEM Implications
    • OEM Implications from Autonomous Driving Technologies
    • How OEMs will Differentiate their Brand in the Future
    • Traditional vs. Non-traditional Automated Driving
    • Autonomous Driving Technologies Benchmark of Global HD OEMs
    • Comparative Benchmark-Truck OEM Autonomous Capabilities
    • OEM Packaging and Marketing of Autonomous Trucks
    • OEM Strategic Approach to Autonomous Trucks-Key OEM Goals
    • Tier I Supplier Implications
  • Conclusions and Future Outlook
    • Key Conclusions and Future Outlook
    • The Last Word-5 Big Predictions
  • Appendix
    • Market Engineering Methodology
    • List of Abbreviations

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