Automation and its effects on global transportation

Automation and its effects on global transportation

A global study by The IRU reveals what the industry feels on automation.

76% of global transportation companies expect driverless trucks to become viable soon.

According to Business Insider, a global study by The International Road Transport Union (IRU) revealed 76% of global transportation companies expect driverless trucks to become viable for road transport within the next decade.

29% of the same companies also expect autonomous trucks to be a realistic solution in the next five years.

Ups or downs for the industry?

Half of transport companies surveyed for the index said to believe that the primary benefit will be the productivity boost.

Autonomous trucks can increase output by removing the physical and regulatory constraints that come with long-haul trips — for example, U.S. truck drivers face limitations on the number hours they can drive in a given period for time. In the near future, driverless trucks could be used to complement these drivers, allowing them to switch to an autonomous mode once they hit labor limits.

Another benefit of this innovation can be in mitigating the industry’s labor shortages, which have been driving up costs.

The American Trucking Association estimates that at the end of 2017, the U.S. trucking industry was short about 50,000 drivers, a gap that the organization projects will grow to 174,000 in 2026. The shortage has delayed shipments and driven up wages, ultimately eating into profit margins.

A growing market looking for top players

As autonomous vehicle market aims to grow rapidly in value from 2019 to 2026 until reaching a total of $556.67 billion, tech giants from the U.S. and China have sparked a fight for the top, but U.K. companies are also having their say.

These are some to keep an eye on:

  • After Nvidia announced it claims to be the world’s first commercially available Level 2+ automated driving system at the 2019 CES show in Las Vegas, it looks like a serious contender for industry leadership. In January 2018, Reuters reported that 320 companies were using the Nvidia Drive computing platform to accelerate the production of autonomous vehicles.
  • German automotive manufacturer Continental unveiled its vision to become the industry leader at the 2019 CES tech show in Las Vegas, announcing its objective to combine autonomous vehicles with delivery robots to create a more efficient distribution system.
  • Of course Google, who aims to lead the race of driverless cars on the road with Waymo, the company’s secretive self-driving subsidiary. It recently announced its plans to launch the world’s first commercial autonomous car service in early December.
  • London cab firm Addison Lee plans to roll out autonomous taxis on London roads by 2021. The company works with self-driving software specialists Oxbotica to create digital maps of more than 250,000 miles of public roads and traffic features in and around London in preparation for the vehicles.

Click here to read more on the technology trends believed to shape the tech industry in 2019.


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