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Trends and challenges for the global truck and bus industry

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Introduction

Of all the transportation segments, trucks and buses leads the field in terms of technological advances and investments from suppliers and manufacturers. Several main trends in this segment are shown here but, of these, the real game-changers for manufacturers are the rapid growth in demand for lightweight electric, hybrid and fuel cell driven vehicles. Also the development of autonomous trucks

Electric and fuel cell driven trucks, electric/hybrid buses

Battery electric trucks (BEB) and buses that can operate on alternative fuel (hybrid buses) are increasingly being developed to comply with global limits on CO2 emissions. Electrification of buses and trucks will involve changes in the structure design. Electric motors will be mounted in the wheels and connected to battery packs and /or fuel cell units integrated into the structure of the vehicle.

Autonomous trucks, safety

Increasing demands on safe truck operation are driving the development of semi-autonomous and autonomous trucks that require minimum human input, thus minimizing the possibility of human error in traffic. Another key factor is increased demand for trucking capacity combined with a shortage of truck drivers. This trend is expected to encourage existing manufacturers and new players to invest

Truck platooning

To save fuel, two or more trucks are connected in a group with the help of connectivity technologies, such as autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, and support systems like adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist. Potential fuel savings are substantial with the lead vehicle saving up to 10%, the middle vehicle up to 17%, and the trailing vehicle up to 13%.

Intelligent transportation

The integrated mobility solution will include features such as searching for a journey, mode of transport, checking the schedule, bookings, routing, and payment. For the truck manufacturer this means putting more truck variants in production and investments in sophisticated production equipment.

Sensitive customers, competitive market

Customers in this segment are increasingly interested in total cost of ownership, including the reliability, quality and efficiency of a truck or bus. Brand image and customer loyalty also depend on the quality and performance of the after-sales support provided by a truck brand.

These trends and challenges face truck and bus manufacturers worldwide. Atlas Copco has the solutions. Read more here!