The market for autonomous trains is projected to develop at a CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period of 2023 and 2031. During the forecast period, Asia-Pacific is expected to lead the market for autonomous trains, followed by Europe. Due to the increase in traffic congestion in urban areas around the globe, there is a pressing need to develop faster, more efficient, and more dependable transportation systems. In the next years, technological advancements and their integration with transportation systems, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, are predicted to contribute to market expansion. Modern digital technologies such as 5G, big data, the Internet of Things, automation, artificial intelligence, and blockchain are driving a comparable transformation inside the railway business.
Growing Demand for Compliance and Safety in Rail Transit
The safety of commuters plays a crucial role in rail transit due to the large number of commuters that travel. As the number of rail commuters increases around the world, rail operators must prioritize safety in order to maintain operations without incurring sanctions from regulators. Real-time monitoring and video surveillance in railway stations and on trains can play a vital role in enhancing situational awareness and ensuring a quicker and more proactive incident response time, hence enhancing passenger safety. In addition to station and train safety, the safety of the rails is of the utmost importance. For a smarter and safer transportation network, software companies have been creating communication systems that leverage wireless technologies to communicate data between vehicles and infrastructure such as railway traffic signals, crossroads & stop signs, warning gates, etc. Additionally, technologies are being developed to alert the driver if an accident is imminent. Therefore, systems that may further streamline operational requirements such as signaling, control, electrification, voice communication, video, and bulk data transfer will undoubtedly play a crucial role in boosting rail safety. Through communication between integrated systems and applications, such as real-time traffic alerts, collision avoidance systems, and crash notification systems, these technologies provide significant safety benefits. Multiple features of technology, including data transmission, tracking, mobility, and sensors, are necessary for the successful implementation of railway projects. In recent years, rapid advancements in these fields have enabled improved object communication, culminating in the emergence of smarter ecosystems. IP version 6 (IPv6) made it possible for nearly every physical thing to connect to the internet. As communication technology has improved over the years, so have the advantages of utilizing digital solutions in the railway industry.
Increases in Globalization and Freight Transportation Demands Will Drive Market Growth for Autonomous Trains
Increased globalization and urbanization have increased the demand for freight and cargo transportation. In addition, it has increased the demand for greater mobility solutions. A smaller, more interconnected globe has increased the preference for autonomous rail transportation. Consequently, a shortage of trained drivers is anticipated to occur in the near future. It is projected that this will contribute to the market demand for autonomous trains throughout the forecast period. In addition, rising tailpipe emissions and the expanding trend of electrification are projected to stimulate the global development of the autonomous train market.
Global Metro and Monorail Network Expansion to Drive Demand for Autonomous Trains
A growing number of metro lines in cities across the globe have already embraced Level 4 Grade of Automation (GoA) driverless train operation. Higher levels of automation, beginning with driver aid systems and advancing to automatic obstacle detection, assist mainline, regional, and tram operators in enhancing the capacity, flexibility, and energy efficiency of their rail operations. Automatic obstacle detection is a fundamental component of future railway automation for a variety of application scenarios.
Lack Of Technological Infrastructure and Interoperability Is a Constraint.
The underdeveloped telecommunications infrastructure and restricted access to smart devices in developing nations impede the market for autonomous trains. Costly internet access is another obstacle to the development of autonomous trains. As enterprises progressively adopt IoT technologies, pursue ambient computing technology, and provide a variety of IoT solutions, standardization across data standards, wireless protocols, and technologies has become more varied in an effort to reduce complexities and costs. This is occurring due to the growing number of newly designed connected devices that operate on a variety of platforms and technologies. Autonomous Trains are difficult to run jointly, posing challenges for interoperability. Networks connect many systems and solutions, such as operations management systems, traffic management systems, control systems, and asset management systems. These solutions are compliant with the same standards and established protocol. Thus, the lack of standards and protocols is anticipated to be a significant market barrier for autonomous trains.
Increasing Emphasis on Intelligent Infrastructure
The increasing urbanization rate drives the development of smart cities. Governments in many regions have initiated smart city projects to improve infrastructure and services and streamline public transportation (including rail and road) for the benefit of end-users. Japan has one of the most extensive high-speed rail networks in the world, with nine high-speed train lines serving 22 of its major cities. The country's high-speed train service is the busiest in the world, carrying more than 420 thousand people on an average weekday. Its trains can reach speeds of up to 320 kilometers per hour (200 miles per hour), and the railway maintains that in over 50 years of operation, no passengers have been killed or injured due to accidents.
The development of high-speed rail in China has accelerated over the previous 15 years. China began planning its present high-speed rail network in the early 1990s, emulating the Shinkansen system of Japan. In 2008, the Chinese high-speed train service began operation, traveling from Beijing to Tianjin at speeds between 250 km/h and 350 km/h (217 mph) (117 km or 73 miles). China's HSR network is anticipated to exceed 38,000 kilometers by 2025, and 45,000 kilometers in the long run.
European nations have constructed significant high-speed rail networks with multiple international cross-border connections. Continuous emphasis is placed on constructing and modernizing train networks to worldwide standards. Existing international connections between Italy and France include Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia. These connections all involve considerable new tunneling beneath the Alps. The European Union granted funding for the high-speed Turin–Lyon railway in 2015 (at a cost of USD 26 billion), which will connect the French and Italian networks and create a link with Slovenia. In a more recent development in Asia, China opened its first privately controlled high-speed railway in the province of Zhejiang in January 2022. This will serve as a positive example for private capital to invest in the nation's railway sector and as evidence of the increasing investment in rail infrastructure.
Challenge: Commuter Data and Privacy Protection
Challenges involved with deploying autonomous trains and attaining full automation include high automation capital costs, a lack of essential infrastructure, and the possibility of cyberattacks. It is anticipated that obtaining the degree of full automation for autonomous trains will be more challenging in nations where many passenger and freight operators must share the same rail tracks, trains have different weights and types, and there are numerous yards and connections. Therefore, the existence of a robust safety infrastructure is crucial for the operation of autonomous trains.
It Is Anticipated That the Metro/Monorail Train Segment Will Lead the Market Over the Forecast Period.
During the forecast period, the metro/monorail train segment is expected to increase at the greatest CAGR in terms of volume, 7.5%. The metro/monorail railway segment is anticipated to be the fastest-growing industry due to escalating passenger and train safety concerns. Due to the train's high speed compared to regular trains, safety requirements are elevated. Autonomous high-speed rail/bullet train industry growth is anticipated to be bolstered by the additional benefit of lower operating expenses. The segment of light rail is anticipated to experience robust expansion throughout the projection period. It is anticipated that demand for this category will increase due to a surge in demand for various urban transit alternatives, such as tram systems.
The GOA 4 segment to lead the Autonomous Train Market by Grade of Automation (GOA)
The GoA4 sector is predicted to increase at a CAGR of 7% throughout the forecast period, holding the biggest market share. Because GoA4-equipped autonomous trains are fully automatic, this market sector is anticipated to expand at the quickest rate. Shift2Rail is among the businesses working to develop automated train operations. Shift2Rail focuses on automated train operations (ATO) in light of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), which will expand and modernize the train across Europe. As the GoA4 implementation program nears completion, the GoA4 train testing is expected to begin in 2022.
In practice, there are various grades for train operations; GoA1 is the world's oldest and most common grade. The system features both automatic and manual train protection. Today, GoA1 is implemented on 99 percent of trains. As manufacturers transition to new technologies that are lifting the driving and safety of autonomous trains to unprecedented heights, demand for the GoA1 decreases as autonomous train activity increases. Such characteristics could impede GoA1's expansion shortly.
Another grade used in autonomous trains is GoA2, which is equipped with semi-automated train operations, i.e., a train operator (STO). Since the 1970s, metropolitan regions have utilized GoA2. Since 1991, GoA2 has been utilized in the railway operations of numerous European nations. Multiple testing for the autonomous train equipped with GoA2 in May 2021 has been conducted in a number of countries, including France.
The Passenger Segment Dominates the Application Market
The Passenger category leads the market and is projected to expand at a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period of 2023 to 2031. As passenger trains are the most popular mode of public transportation, there is a significant demand for them around the world. Currently, rail is one of the most energy-efficient modes of transport, transporting 7% of all freight and 8% of all motorized people while consuming only 2% of the energy required for transportation. Globally, tests of driverless passenger trains are being conducted. In October 2021, Deutsche Bahn and Siemens introduced the nation's first autonomous train. The train will travel through Hamburg. It is envisaged that this train will offer dependable service without significantly modifying the existing infrastructure.
Due to the evolution of the global supply chain market, the logistics industry is confronted with greater obstacles, such as the increasing requirement to deliver speedy and flexible services at competitive costs. In a rapidly transforming environment, inland canal and road traffic fight aggressively with freight rail, a scenario that is certain to deteriorate. By the end of 2021, the technology startupProxion plans to test the fully automated freight train. Freight trains are moving toward autonomous operation. The train will be powered by electricity.
The Camera Segment to Lead the Autonomous Train Market by Component
As a result of the necessity to monitor trains for safety purposes, the camera segment is anticipated to account for the biggest share of the autonomous train market by component. Additionally, cameras can be put externally on a train to aid train operators in verifying that doorways are clear, hence preventing accidents. Cameras also aid in monitoring the pantograph, which is essential for the operation of a train that gathers power from an overhead line. It is simple for train operators to ascertain the cause and timing of pantograph failure when they have access to clear footage of the pantograph. This market is anticipated to reach 650 thousand units by 2030, from an estimated 386 thousand units in 2022.
The CBTC Segment Dominates the Market by Technology
The CBTC segment is expected to increase at a CAGR of 6% over the projected period, making it the market leader. Communication-based train control (CBTC) utilizes telecommunications between track equipment and trains to govern infrastructure and manage traffic. CBTC systems offer a more accurate awareness of a train's position than conventional signaling systems. The administration of railroad traffic is made more efficient and secure. Metros and other rail systems are capable of increasing headways while maintaining or improving safety. In modern CBTC systems, trains constantly compute and transmit status updates via radio to roadside equipment along the route. This status takes into account the precise position, speed, direction of travel, and stopping distance, among other criteria. This information allows for the calculation of the potential space the train will occupy on the track.
The European Rail Traffic Management System is a set of standards for the administration and coordination of railroad signals established by European Union (ERTMS). Increasing rail interoperability throughout the EU is ERTMS's key objective. It aims to improve the safety, efficiency, and interoperability of rail transit throughout Europe. The ERTMS system makes interoperable railroads possible in Europe.
Automatic train control (ATC) refers to a speed-control device that responds to external inputs within the framework of railroad safety systems. The track circuits utilized by the digital ATC system recognize the presence of a train in a segment and then send digital data from roadside equipment to the train, the next train ahead, and the platform where the arriving train will stop.
Asia Pacific to Remain as the Global Leader
In the Asia-Pacific area, the construction of metro lines is accelerating. The Asia-Pacific area is the largest and fastest-growing region for the worldwide autonomous train market due to increased infrastructure advancements, rising government spending in the transportation sector, and ongoing/upcoming projects in a number of nations. Increasing degrees of automation and the requirement for efficient and secure transportation is anticipated to be the primary factors driving the market for autonomous trains. Market leaders have recognized the promise of autonomous trains and have introduced multiple categories of trains with varying levels of automation. Alstom inaugurated its Innovia monorail trains on Wuhu Rail Transit's Line 1 in Anhui Province, China, in November 2021. The new monorail will be elevated and equipped with automatic train operation (ATO) grade of operation 4 (GoA4), allowing it to run in a completely automated condition without a driver or attendant.
Europe represents the second-largest market share and is expected to reach USD 4000 million by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of 6.2%. Europe has one of the largest rail networks in the world. Future railway projects and technologies are fueling the growth of the European market for autonomous trains. In numerous nations, including Germany, train travel is commonplace. The prevalence of railway stations in the country's main cities and villages reflects the popularity of train travel. Train travel is favored above other modes of transportation, such as buses. Germany's federal rule restricts bus peak speeds to 100 km/h (62 mph), although "low-speed" trains can reach 160 km/h (100 mph) (99 mph). These factors raise the demand for railroads in Europe, hence boosting the market for autonomous trains in that region.
In North America, the introduction of autonomous trains is accelerated by technological advances in rail transport. The public transportation business in the United States is immature and expanding. In addition, Canada has an enormous network and well-established railway system that is used for both passenger and freight transportation (the majority of which is freight). Increases in passenger and freight traffic are forecast to increase the demand for driverless trains in the next years, resulting in a substantial increase in the autonomous train market in North America.
Product Development and Partnerships are the Key Strategies Adopted by Key Competitors
The global market for autonomous trains is dominated by Alstom (France), Siemens (Germany), Hitachi (Japan), Wabtec Corporation (United States), and Thales Group (France). These corporations have robust global distribution networks. In addition, these businesses offer a comprehensive selection of products in this sector. To maintain their market position, these corporations have employed measures such as new product development and partnerships. Industry leaders in autonomous trains are adopting new technology and focusing on mergers, acquisitions, and product portfolio expansion. ABB, Alstom, American Equipment Company, Beijing Traffic Control Technology, Belden, Bharat Forge, Bombardier, CAF, Calamp, CRRC, Deuta, Deutsche Bahn, General Electric, Hitachi, Hollysys, Ingeteam, Intesens, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Siemens, Tech Mahindra Ltd., Thales Group, Transmashholding, Tvema, and Wabtec Corporation are some of the major players in
Key developments in the global autonomous trains industry include the following:
Historical & Forecast Period
This study report represents analysis of each segment from 2020 to 2030 considering 2021 as the base year. Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for each of the respective segments estimated for the forecast period of 2022 to 2030.
The current report comprises of quantitative market estimations for each micro market for every geographical region and qualitative market analysis such as micro and macro environment analysis, market trends, competitive intelligence, segment analysis, porters five force model, top winning strategies, top investment markets, emerging trends and technological analysis, case studies, strategic conclusions and recommendations and other key market insights.
The complete research study was conducted in three phases, namely: secondary research, primary research, and expert panel review. key data point that enables the estimation of Autonomous Trains market are as follows:
Market forecast was performed through proprietary software that analyzes various qualitative and quantitative factors. Growth rate and CAGR were estimated through intensive secondary and primary research. Data triangulation across various data points provides accuracy across various analyzed market segments in the report. Application of both top down and bottom-up approach for validation of market estimation assures logical, methodical and mathematical consistency of the quantitative data.
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Region Segment (2020–2030; US$ Million)
Global Impact of Covid-19 Segment (2020-2021; US$ Million )
Key questions answered in this report