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Mining industry could lose dominance as demand for automated trucks rises

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

According to a new market intelligence report, the global automated truck market is projected to reach a valuation of approximately US$ 2 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of around 55% during the forecast period.

Market introduction

The report suggests that the global automated truck market is likely to be driven by a range of macroeconomic and industry-specific factors. Asia Pacific is expected to be at the forefront of global demand, with the automated truck market in the region expanding at a CAGR of around 40% between 2019 - 2027.

Automated trucks can be safely driven with little or no assistance on roads. These trucks are driven according to the situation detected by the installed sensors, and their response to the situation on the basis of artificial intelligence and cloud stored data.

Automated trucks are anticipated to impact the logistics and mining industries, owing to extensive utilisation of automated haul trucks in mines and rising investments by key truck manufacturers and technology companies in the development of autonomous trucks for the logistics industry.

The rising inclination of the automotive industry toward vehicle connectivity and intelligent transportation has prompted manufacturers to focus on the development of autonomous trucks.

Key drivers of the automated truck market

High investments for the automation of mines by large mining companies such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton are anticipated to boost the demand for automated haul trucks to be used in the mining industry.

In terms of truck type, the automated truck market has been segmented into cab-integrated and cabless trucks. The cab-integrated segment held a large share of the automated truck market, as most of the testing is currently carried out on cab-integrated trucks, whereas cabless trucks are only showcased by manufacturers and have not been tested successfully. The arrival of automated trucks is expected after 2022; until then, the cab-integrated segment is projected to gain high popularity.

Based on vehicle class, the automated truck market has been divided into class 8 & class 9 and ultra-class. Ultra-class trucks are only used in the mining industry to carry large amounts of materials such as coal, ore, and overburden from pits. The demand for haul trucks in the mining industry is lower than that of trucks for the logistics industry, which is anticipated to propel the class 8 & class 9 segment of the automated truck market during the forecast period.

In terms of autonomy level, the automated truck market has been segregated into level 3, level 4, and level 5. Level 3 represents the partial automation of trucks, such as truck platooning. Level 4 represents trucks that are autonomous and require the assistance of a driver only for a few functions, while level 5 trucks are completely autonomous and do not require the assistance of a driver. Level 5 trucks for the logistics industry are under development. However, automated trucks for the mining industry are included in the level 5 segment. Consequently, the segment initially is expected to account for a high share of the automated truck market, while the level 3 segment is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period, due to the rising popularity of truck platooning across the logistics industry.

Regional Overview of the Automated Truck Market

In terms of region, the global automated truck market has been segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Asia Pacific leads the global automated truck market.

Asia Pacific dominated the automated truck market due to the presence of Australia in the region, which has large and advanced mines. In 2018, the country adopted a large number of automated haul trucks.

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