The global leader in commercial vehicles
and car manufacturing (2018), China, is all set to declare operational a 100
km long highway with lanes devoted for autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles
(AVs) in 2020. This novel transportation infrastructure will be well-equipped
with sensors in self-driving car lanes, an innovative toll facility for hassle-free
payments and a speed limit in between 62 – 74 miles per hour. This development
is unmatched globally and depicts the rampant adoption of autonomous vehicles in
the one of the biggest automotive economy, hence drawing a sense of stark
relief in the less exploited and debatable, yet extensive global Semi-autonomous
and Autonomous Vehicles Market. As the autonomous vehicles heavily rely on a
degree of autonomy that is yet to be commercialized due to several factors,
with safety being the foremost, semi-autonomous vehicles is witnessing an influx
of the most prominent chunk of the global autonomous vehicles market demand in
the near future. Unlike autonomous vehicles, semi-autonomous vehicle has
successfully alleviated itself from being reckoned as a nascent technology with
heavy application of various technologies in modern automotive fleet. Some of
the technologies includes, but are not limited to, are automatic emergency
braking, collision avoidance systems, lane centering assist, adaptive cruise
control, and forward collision warning. Similarly autonomous vehicles is an
integration of all the technologies into a cohesive package, withdrawing driving
responsibility from the driver. Apart from innovations in automotive in the
form of ultrasonic sensor, fusion sensor, vision sensor, 3D laser scanners, radar
and LiDAR technology, delivering an autonomous front to the vehicles demands a
requisite integration of artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT),
and software as well. For instance, simultaneous localization and mapping
(SLAM) is an imperative technology that is equipped in semi-autonomous and
autonomous vehicles integrated with real-time sensors for efficient mapping of
roadways to provide precise lane centering, smooth control through curves and safely
anticipate roadway changes. The SLAM technology is witnessing an evolution as Ushr
Inc., a Detroit based startup has created high-definition (HD) mapping
technology and software for autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles. The company
is the first-to-market supplier of HD mapping technology in an OEM production vehicles
(Cadillac Super Cruise™ hands-free highway-driving system). This development is
pivotal for Ushr Inc., to carve a niche for itself among technology providers
in autonomous vehicles market that includes the august presence of Waymo LLC, Baidu,
Inc., Samsung Group and Intel Corporation. Moreover, the market is gaining substantial
traction as car rental services companies such as Uber and Lyft are providing semi-autonomous
vehicles as a service to its clientele. The global semi-autonomous and autonomous
vehicles market size is evaluated to be $ 8 billion as of 2018. And, considering
the humongous funding allocated to novel entrants such Zoox Inc. along with
intense investments into R&D by conglomerates in the market Baidu, Inc., opportunities
in the market is estimated to be progressing at a global CAGR of 31.28% during
the forecast period of 2019-2025.
North America –Home to the Biggest Players in Autonomous Driving:
After a stark study of the regional Semi-Autonomous and Autonomous Vehicles Markets, North America is evaluated to be the most lucrative marketplace. This region hosting some of the biggest labels in autonomous driving that includes Waymo LLC, Tesla, Inc., and General Motors Company, accounted for nearly half of the global autonomous vehicles market demand (48.65%) in 2018. Apart from the presence of private enterprises as mentioned above, this region is escalating as a market for driverless or robot car due to proper addressing of autonomous vehicle’s potential by state and municipal governments. In the United States, the number of states in consideration towards legislature associated with autonomous vehicles has progressively augmented. By 2018, 15 states enacted 18 autonomous vehicles related bills, whereas in 2017, 33 states introduced legislation that was 13 more than the 20 legislations recorded in 2016. Hence, as of now 29 states and Washington D.C. have legislated regulations pertaining to autonomous vehicles. In 2016, Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary, announced a modernized policy for the existing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) 2013 initial policy statement on autonomous vehicles. The update was revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and was accompanied with an investment declaration of nearly $4 billion over the next decade to accelerate the developments and implementation of safe vehicle automation.
Self-Driving Trucks Portrays Better Economic Rationale Than Autonomous Cars:
As per the American Trucking Associations, trucks exchange approximately 71.5% of the nation's freight by weight. And with $700.1 billion in gross freight revenues, trucking accounted for nearly 79.3% of the nation’s freight remunerations in 2017. Hence, with the advent of self-driving trucks the entire façade of trucking industry is open towards more humongous returns as the expense of truck drivers can be cut down or cut off completely. The paradigm shift towards autonomy in the freight industry is well indicated by some latest constructive developments-
· TuSimple, a California based global self-driving truck company, made an official statement revealing the approval of its third open road test license for the autonomous truck on May 30, 2019. As a consequence, the company will retain its authority to test autonomous trucks on the port area of Shanghai and augment the commercialization of autonomous vehicles. After the initial road test license that was granted in 2018, the autonomous commercial truck maker had already completed 15,000 km on Shanghai city roads, with no collision reported by then.
· Similarly, in California, United States, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) publicized its acceptance for trial and deployment of light-duty autonomous motor trucks in form of delivery trucks (weighing less than 10,001 pounds) on the state’s public roads. Tracing the history of California DMV, as in 2018 it issued its first permit for testing self-driving cars on public roads to Waymo LLC that resulted in extensive implementation of semi-autonomous vehicles, this initiative towards a certain class of vehicles also has the requisite caliber to uplift the market for autonomous delivery trucks in United States.
Wyamo LLC and General Motors – A Duopoly in Global Semi-Autonomous and Autonomous Vehicles Market:
· Wyamo LLC- The Google sibling, Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo, has elevated itself from what was initially estimated to be a $75 billion startup to a staggering $175 billion as of 2018, with majority of its revenue being sourced by passenger ride services and licensing of its technology (intellectual property). Analyzing its future endeavors, the principal foundation of upcoming revenue is likely to be laid in its autonomous trucking and delivery services. Waymo in running an experimental program in Atlanta, by testing a small fleet of semi-trucks manufactured by Peterbilt Motors Company equipped with its sensors, software and computers to conduct deliveries for Google data centers. Tracing the opportunities in ride-sharing services that is estimated to grow from $5 billion in revenue by 2018 to $285 billion by 2030, Wyamo in 2018, cracked a deal for deployment of 62,000 minivans (Chrysler Pacifica by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) as robot taxis into its fleet of self-driving minivans. Moreover, developing its front as manufacturer, Wyamo is building its first self-driving car factory in Detroit, United Staes. It has also partnered with Lyft (LYFT) to provide the rideshare company with self-driving minivans. The partnership will augment Waymo’s influence into the self-driving vehicle market, as it has already announced to be making autonomous vehicles for automakers Nissan and Renault.
· General Motors Company- Autonomous driving technology by several market vendors have demonstrated similar capabilities, with a failure to carve a niche for themselves. But, GM with humongous investments in its pocket is moving towards establishing itself as a brand globally. In 2018, Honda Motor Co. declared a whopping $2.75 billion investment in GM's Cruise LLC, in a strategic move that will assist Honda to get into the autonomous vehicles spectrum and support GM in faster deployment of self-driving cars globally. In the same year, SoftBank, a Japanese investor made an enormous $2.25 billion investment in GM's Cruise LLC. As the SoftBank owns piece of shares in ride-hailing firms Uber Technologies Inc. and Didi Chuxing, this partnership has the potential to get a GM substantial advantage in the rampantly flourishing ride-sharing sector.
Semi-autonomous And Autonomous Vehicles Market Companies:
Some of the key players operating in the global market are Cisco Systems, Inc., Continental AG, Delphi Technologie, DENSO Corporation, Infineon Technologies, Magna International, NXP Semiconductors N.V., Renesas Electronics Corporation, Robert Bosch GmbH, Texas Instruments Inc, Valeo, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG), Tesla, Inc, and Waymo LLC.
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