Automated Truck Market to Hit $1.7B by 2025

While the market is expected to expand steadily through 2025, the Allied Market Research report said hacking concerns could put a brake on growth.

Within a mere three years, the worldwide market for self-driving trucks could run into more than $1 billion, a recent report found.

Indeed, by 2025 the market for these autonomous vehicles may reach almost $1.7 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% between 2020 and 2025, according to the Allied Market Research study. The analysis segments the self-driving truck market based on level of autonomy, industry vertical, region and level of autonomy.

Key players in the global market for self-driving (also known as robotic) trucks include BMW, General Motors, Volvo, Daimler, Tesla, Waymo, Toyota and Volkswagen.

North America dominates the western market and China is expected to register the highest growth in Asia-Pacific by 2020. At the same time, Allied Market Research predicts the U.K. will lead the overall European market in Europe.

Construction and manufacturing will account for the highest revenue in the self-driving truck market; the Asia-Pacific will exhibit the highest CAGR during the forecast period, the researcher said.

The report defines self-driving trucks as vehicles outfitted with systems using infrared radars, LIDAR (laser radar), cameras, sophisticated motion sensors and complex algorithms that allow the truck to drive itself.

Self-driving truck benefits include reduced overhead, more environmentally friendly vehicles, enhanced energy efficiency and an anticipated reduction in vehicular accidents. Concerns surround areas such as security and privacy related to information accessed from the operating software.

Such security concerns could well hinder the market’s growth as the software is vulnerable to hackers, according to the report. Even when a supervisor is in the cab, monitoring a self-driving truck, it is possible a hacker can infiltrate the software and overrule the controls, Allied Market Research posits. That puts the overseer, other drivers and pedestrians, as well as the vehicle itself at risk.

Overall, security and cybersecurity concerns including threats from hackers as well as the real rise in cybercrime will limit growth, the study said.

That, however, has not stopped some companies from driving ahead. In March, for example, Waymo launched a pilot in Atlanta, which followed autonomous trucking announcements by ride-hailing rival Uber and startups Starsky Robotics and Embark. A month earlier, Embark announced it had completed a test drive that took a semi-autonomous truck on a 2,400-mile, coast-to-coast journey from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Fla.

Waymo’s pilot will take place in Atlanta, partly because it’s one of the biggest logistics hubs in the US. Trucks carry more than $620 billion-worth of cargo on the state’s roads every year, according to Georgia.

Trucking could be a lucrative market for autonomous driving developers that may have an easier time selling their technology to the shipping industry than to consumers.

Max Fuller, executive chairman of US Xpress, the fourth-largest trucking company in the States, told in July 2017 that long-haul trucks will have much greater autonomous capabilities in three to four years.

“We’re trying to enhance the safety, give [drivers] the ability to be more productive, try to create a better return for the company and supply a better service for our customers,” he said.

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