Use of autonomous vehicles and drones expected to rise in U.S. transportation industry
Thirty percent of transportation industry respondents plan to introduce robotics into their business operations within the next year, while another 22% are actively assessing the technology. This was revealed in a recent B2B technology survey of 455 U.S.-based companies across nine verticals, conducted by ABI Research. Despite notable near-term progress in robotics deployments among the respondents to support e-commerce and delivery growth, their lack of familiarity with nascent technologies such as AR, Blockchain, 5G, autonomous vehicles, AI, and the related ecosystem for transportation technologies is impacting potential adoption.
"Transportation providers may view intelligent transportation technologies as solutions to evolve their existing transportation operations versus opportunities for developing new revenue streams and business models," says Susan Beardslee, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. "These players also show concern for legacy systems integration and comprehension of the complexity/fragmentation of their supply chain."
Survey respondents believed that intelligent transportation technology benefits are frequently linked to promoting workforce collaboration, centralized IT, and operations frameworks, as well as workforce mobility. Primary barriers to adoption include data security and privacy concerns, alignment with existing legacy framework, and associated costs of technology adoption. Respondents also expected limited impact of delivery drones over the next two years; 40% do not see a role for this in their businesses within that timeframe.
Key survey findings concerning attitudes toward, and perceived benefits of, key technologies include:
- Autonomous Vehicles: 44% of respondents are not familiar with autonomous vehicle technology for transport. Barriers, including awareness, will hold back adoption, at least in the near term.
- Operational Data Management: A disconnect is present amid rising "co-optition," and respondents do not see consolidation because of the reluctance to share data. Only 2% of respondents highly rank sharing operational data with peers and only 14% with key partners.
- Freight as a Service: 34% of respondents favor Freight as a Service for its ability and flexibility to choose loads and routes dynamically, but only 2% of respondents highly anticipate that it will grow their customer bases.
- V2X: ETE cargo tracking (38%) and vehicle monitoring (36%) saw the strongest results, corresponding with industry growth.
- Artificial Intelligence: Only 4% of respondents rank navigation and guidance applications as a priority. AI remains a nascent technology, but it is critical to the adoption of autonomous vehicles.
"The results deliver validation that notable challenges remain to digitize, automate, and transform the transportation industry, especially with the very long tail of owner-operators and small fleets," concluded Beardslee. "Support of emerging technologies draws mixed reactions, with Over the Air building awareness. But respondents still see other compelling technologies, such as gateways, as nascent to the transportation industry. We expect to see this increase soon to effectively link vehicles and assets to operations."
These findings are from ABI Research's Industry Survey: Transformative Technology Adoption and Attitude – Transportation report (for more information, visit https://www.abiresearch.com/market-research/product/1028091-industry-survey-transformative-technology-/). This report is part of the company's Intelligent Transportation & eFreight research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.