Market for autonomous train technology expected to grow by billions

The global market for autonomous train technology will expand by several billions through 2026, a new report released in January shows. China and the Asia-Pacific region are expected to emerge as frontrunners in a market that will be dominated by major players such as Alstom, Siemens and Hitachi.

According to the report ‘Autonomous Train Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecast (2022 – 2027)’, the market for autonomous train technology is expected to grow by close to 2,75 billion dollars to reach 10,2 billion in 2026.

While hit hard by the global COVID-19 pandemic, commuters and governments around the world alike have come to recognise rail as being an environmentally method of transportation. With consumer demands also shifting towards a preference for safety and efficiency, the rail sector is well positioned for the adoption of autonomous technology, the report states.

Popularity of rail likely to make Asia-Pacific frontrunner

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to emerge as a frontrunner, in large part due to the popularity of rail in such countries as India, China and Japan. For example, the demand for public transport in India is expected to boost the deliveries of new metro cars, which in turn can create a need for Grade of Automation 3 (GoA) and GoA 4 technology.

In other markets such as Indonesia and Bangladesh, the market may receive a bump due to replacement needs of existing material.

High development costs may hinder new entrants

While the global market for autonomous train technology is expected to grow, the large research and development costs associated with the technology will put a damper on this growth.

It also means that the bar for market entry for new technology players remains high. As such, the market will likely be dominated by the main protagonists such as Alstom, Siemens and Hitachi for some years to come.

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Author: Nick Augusteijn


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