It has become crystal clear that the future viability of autonomous vehicles won’t be limited to cars alone. In fact, one of the biggest growth areas in the sector is expected to come in the form of self-driving buses, as detailed in an Allied Market Research report.
- The Allied Market Research report outlines a number of key factors that will drive the autonomous bus market.
- One of the biggest trends poised to drive the self-driving bus market is the reduction in traffic congestion.
- The growing focus on smart cities will play a pivotal role in the future of autonomous buses in the U.S. and abroad.
The market for autonomous buses is charging up to be one of the largest growing sectors in the evolving world of new mobility. In fact, according to Allied Market Research, the global self-driving bus sector is expected to surge from $6.81 billion in 2019 to a whopping $74.52 billion by 2026. Reduced traffic congestion, due to improved safety and a growth in connected infrastructure, will play a major role in the market surge for autonomous buses.
The growth of the global self-driving bus market will span fully-autonomous vehicles to assisted-driving buses. (Image: Allied Market Research)
A closer look at the players
The vehicle manufacturers that will help drive the self-driving bus sector include AV Volvo, Continental AG, Volkswagen AG, Tesla, Scania AB, Proterra, Hyundai Motor Company, Hino Motors, Ltd., and Navya.
According to Allied Market Research, growth in the space will also be driven by companies such as Cisco and IBM, which have been focused on creating cutting-edge digital platforms that can be used to automate street and traffic lights, optimize trash pickup, and augment surveillance.
The advancements being made in the “smart city” sector will also play a pivotal role in the growth of autonomous buses, by significantly improving the overall capability and safety of self-driving vehicles.
Currently, there are about 300 cities in China working on smart city projects. There are also a host of smart city initiatives underway in the U.S., which will help drive more efficient connected network systems for self-driving buses in the states.
The technology being used to create smart cities will play a major role in the future of autonomous buses. (Photo: Siemens Mobility)
More public transit options
Other variables, like the growing focus on regional-transit services and first/last-mile mobility options will likely play a role in the surge of the self-driving autonomous bus market.
Siemens Mobility, which has been leading a lot of new technologies in the mobility space, recently announced a plan to offer cities self-driving minibuses in areas with limited access to public transit, as a better means for optimizing transportation networks, according to Its International. In the Its International report, Markus Schlitt, CEO of intelligent traffic systems at Siemens Mobility, contends that self-driving minibuses are a far more efficient means of urban mobility.
The autonomous bus sector, however, will still need to get over some major hurdles, especially in regards to safety. U.S. regulators just put the brakes on the autonomous shuttle company, EasyMile, after a passenger on one of their buses in Columbus, Ohio, was injured when the bus suddenly came to an abrupt stop, reports Reuters.
The France-based autonomous shuttle company had been operating 16 self-driving buses in 10 states.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The expected growth of the autonomous bus market speaks volumes about the type of vehicles that will drive mobility in the future. By the same token, the speed in which a lot of new mobility ideas are being implemented, coupled with the recent move by U.S. regulators to halt EasyMile, also highlight the need to make sure safety stays at the forefront of the new mobility movement.