Supportive measures taken by governments of different countries, increasing demand for an efficient and safe driving alternative, along with the development of connected car technologies are the major factors propelling the growth of the market. Furthermore, owing to such factors, the fully autonomous commercial vehicle market is expected to generate $499.5 billion revenue in 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.2% during the forecast period (2020–2030).
However, on the threshold of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the growth of the autonomous commercial vehicle market has been impacted. As the impact of the epidemic, most of the affected countries around the world have locked down their all/partial operations to contain the spread of the disease. This resulted in shutting down of manufacturing activities, hindrance in supply chain and export/import activities, as well as massive decline in demand for non-essential products. Thus, this situation is expected to stagger the growth of the market, temporarily, in 2020.
Fully Autonomous is Expected to be the Fastest-Growing Category
The autonomous commercial vehicle market is categorized into semi-autonomous and fully autonomous vehicles, on the basis of vehicle autonomy. Between the two, the fully autonomous category is expected to exhibit faster growth during 2023–2030, with the introduction of fully autonomous vehicles (level 4) in 2023. The growth of the market in this category can be attributed to their greater expected adoption in logistics activities, in order to optimize efficiency in operation, especially in North America.
Furthermore, based on application, the autonomous commercial vehicle market is categorized into logistics, public transportation, construction, and others. Among these, the logistics category held the largest share in 2019, and is expected to continue dominating the market during the forecast period. This can be primarily buoyed by the growing logistics industry and significant growth in the e-commerce, retail, and manufacturing industries around the world. Moreover, the rising demand for logistics will create the need to develop more efficient delivering alternative, in order to minimalize any loss in transits. This leads to the development of autonomous truck convoy, which will enhance the operational algorithms and vehicle communications network, thereby benefitting the overall logistics operations.
Geographically, North America, led by the U.S., was the largest market for autonomous commercial vehicles during the historical period, facilitated by the early adoption of autonomous technologies. However, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market is expected to witness the fastest growth, owing to the increasing technological development and rising adoption of autonomous driving technologies in countries, such as China, South Korea, and Japan.
Partnerships and Mergers & Acquisitions are the Most Common Strategic Measures Taken by Market Players
Players in the autonomous commercial vehicle market are undergoing partnerships and mergers & acquisitions, in order to enhance their market presence. For instance, in August 2019, United Parcel Service of America Inc. (UPS) announced that it has acquired a minority stake of TuSimple Inc. The size of the stake was not yet disclosed. Moreover, UPS will intend to remain competitive, cut costs, and boost its bottom line, as a result of this development. Moreover, the companies had initiated self-driving service in May 2019, with a driver and engineer inside the vehicle, where they monitored distance and time the autonomous truck could travel on its own, along with its safety level.
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Similarly, in June 2019, Inceptio Technology (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. entered into a partnership with Trackingmore (UC Express), a logistics company. With this partnership, the companies intend to integrate autonomous driving technologies in logistics services, by cooperatively optimize operational routes, data collection, and analysis process, as well as cut down cost.
Some of the major players operating in the global autonomous commercial vehicle market include Ford Motor Co., General Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., Toyota Motor Corp., Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance, TuSimple Inc., Embark Trucks Inc., Kodiak Robotics Inc., Inceptio Technology (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., and Einride AB.