Strict government regulations; surging demand for enhanced road safety and security solutions due to the rise in number of road accidents; increasing integration of tunnel automation systems with advanced technologies like cloud storage and internet of things (IoT); combination of analytics in tunnel management; and rising number of tunnel construction projects around the globe are some of the major factors behind the growth of the global tunnel automation market. Moreover, technological developments in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and other automation-related components are expected to benefit the Industry. Due to these factors, the market generated $3.5 billion revenue in 2020, and it is projected to witness significant growth during the forecast period (2021–2030).
The COVID-19 pandemic has considerably impacted the tunnel automation market, due to the temporarily shutdown of the construction and transportation industries. Other factors such as interruption in supply and demand, and absence of installation and operative workforce have impacted the market to a huge extent. However, with the recommence of the industries, the market is expected to recover from the losses sustained due to the pandemic.
The tunnel automation market is classified into railway tunnels and highway and roadway tunnels, on the basis of tunnel type. Between the two, the railway tunnels category held larger market share in 2020. This is credited to the benefits integrated with railway tunnel automation solutions such as reduced safety and security threats and improved efficiency of tunnel operations. Lighting and power supply, signalization, fire and safety, ventilation, air conditioning, and communication systems are some of the components of railway automation, which improve tunnel functioning.
Further, on the basis of component, the tunnel automation market is classified into lighting and power supply, signalization, HVAC, and others. Among these, the HVAC category held the largest market share in 2020, and it is expected to record the fastest growth during the forecast period. This can be majorly ascribed to the high use of HVAC components in tunnel automation. The need for proper ventilation of heat and various harmful gases emitted by vehicles and trains passing through the tunnels is a key factor supporting the market growth in this category. Additionally, increasing number of tunnel construction projects across the globe is expected to further propel the demand for HVAC components.
Geographically, Europe is expected to lead the tunnel automation market in coming years. This can be attributed to various initiatives and projects launched by the governments to optimize transportation systems, presence of mountain ranges, increase in number of road accidents, rise in demand for public transportation systems, and surge in awareness for rail and road safety, in the region.
Players in the tunnel automation market have been expanding their facilities and also launching new products to enhance their market presence. For instance,
In December 2019, Siemens AG launched a test laboratory at Hagerbach test gallery at Flums Hochwiese. The test laboratory “The Tunnel Digitalization Center” is used for simulation and testing of complex tunnel projects under real conditions.
In January 2018, Sick AG launched a hot spot detector system, which is capable of detecting and preventing fire in highway tunnels. Through this system, vehicle fire in highway tunnels can be prevented.
Some of the major players operating in the global tunnel automation market are Siemens AG, SICK AG, Johnson Controls International Plc, Kapsch Group, ABB Group, Honeywell International Inc., Trane Inc., Philips Lighting N.V., Swarco AG, and Eaton Corporation Plc.