Global HD Autonomous Vehicle Market To Grow At 27% CAGR Till 2032

Mobility Outlook Bureau
10 Jul 2023
08:09 AM
5 Min Read

Autonomous vehicles are expected to minimise the costs associated with drivers and enhance road safety, which will further support market growth.

Volvo autonomous truck

Driven by growing demand for autonomous driving, rising developments and integration of heavy-duty autonomous vehicles in public transport for semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles, the global heavy-duty autonomous vehicle market is anticipated to grow at 27.42% CAGR till 2032.

According to the recent report by ResearchAndMarkets: 'Heavy-Duty Autonomous Vehicle Market - A Global and Regional Analysis: focussing on Application, Propulsion Type, Vehicle Type, Level of Autonomy, Sensor Type, and Region - Analysis and Forecast, 2023-2032,' the market that was valued at $135.25 billion in 2022 is anticipated to reach $1,453.20 billion by 2032.

Heavy-Duty Autonomous Vehicle

Heavy-duty autonomous vehicles are self-driving vehicles designed to operate in applications that require high load-carrying capacity and the ability to navigate challenging terrain, including construction sites, mining operations, and transportation of goods and materials.

Heavy-duty autonomous vehicles use various technologies, including LiDAR sensors, GPS, and advanced algorithms, to navigate their environment and make decisions about operating safely and efficiently. They can be electric or powered by internal combustion engines and are typically designed to operate continuously with minimal human input.

Heavy-duty autonomous vehicles offer a range of benefits, including increased safety, improved efficiency and productivity, and reduced labour costs. These vehicles are being developed and deployed by a range of companies in the transportation, logistics, construction, and mining industries and are expected to play an increasingly important role in the future of these industries as technology continues to advance.

Early States

The heavy-duty autonomous vehicle market is still in its early stages of development and adoption, with limited commercial deployment and fewer players involved in the market. The market is primarily focused on industrial applications, such as mining, construction, and logistics, where there is a significant need for large, powerful vehicles that can operate autonomously in challenging environments.

The heavy-duty autonomous vehicle market is currently smaller than the overall autonomous vehicle market. However, it is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years as technology advances and the benefits of autonomous operation become more widely recognised. The report said that there is significant interest and investment in developing heavy-duty autonomous vehicles, with many companies competing to establish a foothold in this emerging market. 

Key Drivers 

According to the report, the heavy-duty autonomous vehicle market is driven by several factors, such as rising demand for vehicles equipped with autonomous driving capabilities and developments of high-tech autonomous solutions for commercial vehicles. Autonomous vehicles are increasingly growing in demand, owing to benefits such as increased vehicle and driver safety features and enhanced fuel/battery power efficiency.

In addition, rising research and development expenditures and the development of several autonomous software and hardware technologies across the globe support the integration of autonomous vehicles in public transport. With GPS technology, cameras, sensors, and artificial intelligence (AI), buses can carry passengers without human intervention.

Europe is at the forefront of adopting autonomous buses in public transport with large research and development investments in the automotive sector. 

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) report published in April 2022, the automotive sector in the region invested around $64 billion for FY20 and was leading across the top ten industrial sectors in the European Union. 

According to World Economic Forum, the European consortium ULTIMO is developing automated minibus services across three cities of the region, including Kronach (Germany), Oslo (Norway), and Geneva (Switzerland). The project would run for over four years with a budget of around $60 million from 2022 to 2025. As a result, in 2025, around 45 driverless minibuses are expected to be on the road.

This project is expected to pave the path for adopting heavy-duty buses in the upcoming years. Additionally, in January 2023, Stagecoach announced the completion of the UK's first full-size autonomous bus testing process. Once the registration process is complete, this bus service is expected to offer a capacity of around 10,000 journeys per week. The company further announced on 4th April 2023 that the bus services would begin in East Scotland from 15th May 2023 onward, the report noted.


Challenges such as rising components and raw materials prices, transition in the end-use market from established to developing countries, and soaring manufacturing costs impede the global market's expansion. Another issue confronting autonomous technology and components is a scarcity of industry-wide similar testing procedures and certification requirements for sensors.

Due to the absence of standardised testing protocols for high-tech hardware components and software technologies, companies have struggled with accuracy and performance assurance, with many relying on internal testing protocols.

Further, the rising logistics costs of transporting hardware components from one country to another add to the burden on end-user pricing. Further, the technology development costs associated with several components are higher, which adds another level of cost to the overall prices of components.

Moreover, price fluctuations are a barrier for any industry or corporation that uses Level 4 and above technology sensors in its value-chain creation. Uncertainty has a significant negative impact on the values of fully autonomous vehicle sensors, and the effect is exacerbated during volatile markets, emphasising that massive increases in volatility cause breakdowns in the heavy-duty autonomous vehicle market, ResearchAndMarkets noted. 

Market volatility has also been found to be especially persistent, implying that significant Government intervention may be required to maintain equilibrium. Further, the technology testing and approval costs are higher and vary as per regulations in each country.

Additionally, constitutional provisions, inflation, and shipping all contribute to an increase in overall costs. As a result of these factors, the market for heavy-duty autonomous vehicles is attempting to achieve a stable balance with significantly lower prices. Thus, the large price swings associated with technological developments have significantly impacted end-use industries and hampered market growth.

However, technological developments such as the development of LiDAR system-on-chip (SoC) along with the commercialisation of products are showing a significant decrease in the prices of products. All these developments are expected to minimise the adverse impact on the market and support market growth over the forecast period.

Market Opportunities:

Logistics is one of the key industries for economic growth. According to the World Economic Forum, trucking industry costs are projected to reach around $5.5. trillion by 2027. Trucking is the dominant mode of transportation in several regions, including North America, Asia-Pacific, and others.

According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), the US inland freight transport was dominated by trucking, with around 68% of logistics revenue in 2019. Heavy-duty truck manufacturers are increasingly adopting advanced technologies such as telematics and driver assistance systems (ADAS).

The increase in the overall complexity of the trucking system caused concern about a rise in maintenance costs. Besides, the growing shortage of skilled drivers has been a major concern in the trucking industry. The adoption of autonomous vehicles is expected to be one of the key solutions to the shortfall of drivers.  

The study noted that specialised skills are required to operate a Class 8 truck. The significant size and weight of these trucks imply that the consequences of accidents are severe, with high fatality rates. The financial costs related to such accidents are high and involve costs associated with driver downtime. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) large truck and bus crash facts 2020, published in 2022, 4,842 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes during FY20.

Autonomous vehicles are expected to minimise the costs associated with drivers and enhance road safety, which will further support market growth. The rising investment by several software and advanced sensor developers to improve the overall heavy-duty autonomous vehicle market is expected to offer lucrative opportunities for market expansion over the forecast period.

NB: Report Courtesy: ResearchAndMarkets. Photo is representational; courtesy: Volvo Trucks.

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