A new report has suggested the rise of driverless trucks and communal buses will be so pronounced that within four years an industry that is currently worth $84 million will reach a global revenue of $35 billion.
The report from Tractica, titled (imaginatively) “Autonomous Trucks and Buses”, plots the industry’s likely course from the present day through to 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,” said Tractica research analyst Manoj Sahi.
“Considering the next 2 to 3 years as a make or break time, several prominent companies are prioritising investment for large-scale development.”
In its report, Tractica claims that sales of automated trucks and buses amounted to approximately 343 vehicles in 2017.
In 2022, however, Tractica expects this number to rise exponentially, to approximately 188,000 units in 2022.
Singapore recently announced plans to begin piloting driverless buses in three neighbourhoods, before they are introduced nto public roads by 2022.
“The autonomous vehicles will greatly enhance the accessibility and connectivity of our public transport system, particularly for the elderly, families with young children and the less mobile,” Singapore’s transport minister Khaw Boon Wan was quoted by the BBC as saying.
Tractica makes the point that by taking more cars off the road, self-driving shuttles and buses will also provide cleaner air, reduced noise pollution and safer areas to walk and ride.