A study by global marketing research firm Tractia has found that the growth potential for automous trucks and buses over the next five years is huge. Photo: Local Motors

A study by global marketing research firm Tractia has found that the growth potential for automous trucks and buses over the next five years is huge. Photo: Local Motors

These days, no one seems to question the inevitability of autonomous technology moving into the mainstream, although there's little consensus on when exactly it will become widespread. At this point, the main question seems to be which transportation sector will it affect first – passenger cars or commercial vehicles.

A little boost to those who predict commercial vehicles will take the lead in adopting autonomous technology appeared last week via a report by Tractia, a global market research firm that focuses on human interactions with technology, which found that worldwide revenue from sales of autonomous trucks and buses reached $84 million in 2017.

Looking ahead, Tractia’s researchers found that the market will continue to develop at a strong pace over the next few years with more competition within the industry, providing significant opportunities to various industry participants, and reaching global revenue of $35 billion by the end of 2022. During that period, Tractia forecasts that annual unit sales will increase from approximately 343 vehicles in 2017 to 188,000 units in 2022.

“The potential for autonomous trucks and buses is huge and market growth is accelerating, with news of successful pilot projects coming at an increasing pace,” noted Tractia research analyst Manoj Sahi. “Considering the next two to three years as a make-or-break time, several prominent companies are prioritizing investment for large-scale development.”

According to Tractia, the report also looks at key drivers and issues affecting the adoption rate of autonomous technology today, including:

  • What is the current state of technology and market development for autonomous trucks and buses?
  • How will the market evolve over the next 6 years?
  • What are the key drivers of market growth, and the key challenges faced by the industry?
  • What are the bottlenecks in technology development?
  • Who are the important players in the market, and what are their products and services?
  • What are the future pricing trends for different vehicle types?

An executive summary of the report can be downloaded by visiting Tractia’s website.

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