Robot Shuttles and Autonomous Buses 2020-2040

        IDTechEx has issued the first in-depth report on this called “Robot Shuttles and Autonomous Buses 2020-2040”. Robot shuttles are an important new, reconfigurable form of transportation for goods and people that may even function as mobile offices, restaurants and more. It finds that the heart of the subject is upright, boxy, 8-20 person vehicles that are symmetrical so they never do a U turn.

        Small footprint, all-round vision, large doors, quiet, zero emission, they can go indoors and over piazzas and roads and are able perform many different tasks even in one day. Primarily intended for intensive urban use, they are gated to never exceed a determined speed, typically in the range 50-60 kph. It all adds up to a new form of transport backed by both huge companies like Toyota and Baidu and startups, one having raised one billion dollars for the task. Their trials explore many possible applications, from empowering the poor and disabled, to viably filing in gaps in the transportation network and replacing very underutilised vehicles such as school buses and private cars, reducing congestion and cost.

        City road congestion will be eliminated by banning little used and weakly filled vehicles such as private cars and some school buses and introducing robot shuttles intensively used because they reconfigure in use, even go indoors, move sideways and arrive at your door.

        The Executive Summary presents the dreams, 10 primary conclusions, the 36 models and their 20 projects, the number deployed by the leaders, the big differences from robotaxis covered in a sister IDTechEx report. It picks winners on IDTechEx criteria and forecasts 20 years ahead with prices tumbling for identified reasons and a tipping point of sales when full Level 5 autonomy can be widespread. The overall bus and the autonomous large bus market is forecasted. See graphs of the robot shuttle hardware business of tens of billions of dollars emerging and additionally the market for associated services.

The Introduction talks through the needs, issues, originality and impediments. Chapter 3 critically appraises the 36 robot shuttle companies/models in 15 countries in detail with partners named, stated objectives and dreams of participants with a profusion of photographs and drawings and SOFT reports of each.

Chapter 4 explains the huge advances in vehicle technology beyond autonomy that are ahead for robot shuttles and key to major success, from solar, supercapacitor, color changing and self-healing bodywork to smart glass, 360 degree wheels and much more. Autonomy makes the vehicle work but these new structures provide a profusion of income streams and business cases, long life and near zero maintenance. The analysis benchmarks other industries where they are ahead with these vehicle technologies.

Chapter 5 is a deep dive into the autonomy technologies including their integration, cost and power reduction ahead plus challenges. That includes detail about lidar, radar, cameras, sensor fusion and more. Chapter 6 is a detailed analysis of cost and income streams, with the most detailed forecasts and background data for buses, autonomous buses, robot shuttles and earning streams 2020-2040.

        It all makes the IDTechEx report, “Robot Shuttles and Autonomous Buses 2020-2040” exceptionally thorough, insightful and up-to-date, using new information and interviews by PhD level globetrotting analysts from IDTechEx interviewing in local languages.

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