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ABI Research Sees Production-Grade Autonomous Transport Scaling

August 31, 2021

As factory production begins for leading OEMs within the next three years, SAE Level 4 autonomy will move from modified heavy-duty trucks and pilots to a reality across multiple regions. According to ABI Research, these vehicle shipments will rise worldwide by 186% from 2024 to 2026.

“TuSimple with Navistar plan to launch in 2024, with their Autonomous Freight Network underway with partners like Penske Truck Leasing. Others gaining momentum include Plus, planned for 2024 and IPO candidate Aurora, anticipating integration with PACCAR and Volvo in 2023,” states Susan Beardslee, Principal Analyst, Supply Chain Management and Logistics at ABI Research. OEMs, along with start-ups and established partners like Intel’s Mobileye and HERE Technologies, are moving rapidly toward commercialization across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Driver shortages, rising insurance rates, “nuclear” verdicts, and growing fuel costs all contribute to a desire for greater autonomy. Fleets must concurrently address the pressing needs to support massive e-commerce demand, profitability, and regulations on Hours of Service (HOS). Furthermore, additive regulations at the country-level need to address capabilities and restrictions, across modalities for SAE Level 4 operations.

“The next five years will demonstrate viability, safety, and revenue paths for real-world highly automated driving, with a focus on heavy-duty vehicles on highways and delivery vehicles on city roads,” Beardslee concludes.

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