uber truck

There will be 35 million autonomous trucks on the road by 2020, says Frost

Business consultancy Frost & Sullivan expects 35 million connected and autonomous trucks will be on the roads by 2020.

Connected trucks will be integral to future logistics and freight operations as smart trucks will be a necessity in smart cities, says Frost.

And in what may be a controversial prediction Frost says: “By 2020, 35 million trucks are expected to be connected with digital freight solutions and autonomous technologies, transforming the trucking industry into a smarter, efficient and more productive sector.” 

The consultancy adds that the “unaddressed challenge” of under-utilized truck capacity will provide original equipment manufacturers and telematics service providers the opportunity to invest or partner with freight aggregation companies and become one-stop solution providers for fleet operators.

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Developments in the Global Connected Truck Market Shaping the Future of Logistics, finds the market is projected to grow at a rate of 41 percent, reaching $20.5 billion by 2020.

The study examines key trends in the connected truck market that will influence the future of logistics including “Uber for trucks”, internet of things in trucks, artificial intelligence, autonomous technologies, and 3D printing.

Frost & Sullivan’s mobility senior analyst, Krishna Chaithanya Bathala, says: “The logistics industry is expanding to include unconventional players, resulting in innovative and unique value-added services.

“As logistics service providers (LSPs) shift from mere outsourced logistics to more non-asset-based and end-to-end, integrated, demand-driven logistics, with an extensive e-business focus on all logistics operations, technologies such as real-time data, sensorization and intelligent autonomous machines, will accelerate the transformation of the logistics and supply chain industry.”

Telematics will be the key driver for supply chain automation. Value-added services, such as real-time traffic, tolling, routing and scheduling, parking, freight aggregation, as well as weigh station bypass, are gradually becoming mainstream telematics services.

To leverage the emerging opportunities, Frost suggests original equipment manufacturers and telematics service providers do the following:

  • Develop a brand-agnostic open platform: A single holistic platform with core fleet management solutions, value-added services, and back-office management software, such as transport management systems and enterprise resource planning, will enhance operational efficiencies.
  • Optimize first-mover advantage: Quickly identifying and implementing new services and solutions through collaborations with start-ups will generate value addition for customers.
  • Develop a cloud-based logistics control tower: A central hub for the entire ecosystem can capture data across various stages of the supply chain and offer stakeholder-specific dashboards for custom viewership.
  • Ensure data security: Partnering with network and data security vendors will enable end-to-end data encryption.

Bathala says: “By 2020, IoT use cases characterized by advanced machine-to-machine capabilities and sensor fusion will make the traditional supply chain models redundant.

“The shift away from vehicle-centric platforms to IoT-based platforms that connect vehicles, warehouses, and infrastructure, is expanding opportunities for key ecosystem participants, such as Trimble, Geotab, Verizon Telematics, TomTom Telematics, Omnitracs, Daimler’s FleetBoard and RIO from Volkswagon Truck and Bus, which have developed innovative technology platforms, business models, and unique service offerings.”