Autonomous Truck Market to Hit $1.7B by 2025

The global market for autonomous trucks is expected to top $1 billion in 2020 and is projected to hit nearly $1.7 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 10% during that five-year period.

The report, conducted by Allied Market Research, segments the self-driving truck market based on level of autonomy, industry vertical and region.

Among the key players in the global market for self-driving or robotic trucks are BMW, General Motors, Volvo, Daimler, Tesla, Waymo, Toyota and Volkswagen.

With North America dominating the market in the West, China is expected to register the highest growth in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020, while the UK is likely to lead the overall market in Europe by the same time.

The construction and manufacturing verticals are projected to account for the highest revenue in the self-driving truck market, while the Asia-Pacific region is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

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

The study offers an in-depth analysis of the global self-driving truck market, including the benefits, which include minimum cost, high speed, environment-friendly nature and energy-efficient approach, as well as privacy and security concerns related to information access from the operating software.

Security concerns are expected to hinder market growth as the software used to create these vehicles is vulnerable to hackers, and raises the concern that — even for self-driving truck with a supervisor inside the vehicle — there is the possibility that hackers can infiltrate the software and overrule the controls, according to the report.

Overall, the report indicates that an increase in threats from hackers, as well as a rise in cybercrime, is expected to limit the market growth in the coming years.

Waymo announced in March that it is launching a self-driving truck pilot in Atlanta, which followed autonomous trucking announcements by ride-hailing rival Uber and startups Starsky Robotics and Embark.

In Februray Embark announced it had completed a coast-to-coast, 2,400-mile journey from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Fla., test drive with a semi-autonomous truck.

Waymo’s pilot will take place in Atlanta partly because it’s one of the biggest logistics hubs in the US. During the announcement, Georgia noted that trucks carry more than $620 billion worth of cargo on the state’s roads every year.

Trucking could be a lucrative market for autonomous driving developers, who 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 US, told in July 2017 that he believes long-haul trucks will have Level 4 autonomous capability 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.

— Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter @dropdeaded209_LR.

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