Autonomous Vehicles and Industry 4.0 integration aims to modernize businesses and automate services. Technological advancements make a huge impact on the Manufacturing Industry. Hence, autonomous vehicles and Industry 4.0 become pivotal for manufacturers.
Further, merging autonomous vehicles and Industry 4.0 grab the attention of technology futurists. As a result, there has been constant research and development in Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 also enhances robotics, AI, computer vision, edge computing, and autonomous vehicles.
Moreover, according to a report by Allied Market Research states, “The global autonomous vehicle market was valued at $76.13 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $2,161.79 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 40.1% from 2021 to 2030.” The article also states, “The COVID-19 crisis is creating uncertainty in the market by slowing down the logistics services, hampering business growth, and increasing panic among the customer segments. Governments across different regions announced total lockdown and temporarily shut down of industries, leading to the border closures that restricted the movement of transportation & logistics services.”
Further, market analysis by Markets and Markets reports, “The industry 4.0 market is projected to grow from USD 64.9 billion in 2021 to USD 165.5 billion by 2026; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.6% from 2021 to 2026.” It also reports, “Considering cost-benefit analysis of leveraging these technologies in the manufacturing sector, it can be concluded that the use of AI and IoT in manufacturing will become mainstream in coming years. Companies such as Cisco, Intel, Honeywell and IBM are already pushing for greater use of AI and IoT in the manufacturing sector.”
Therefore, in this article let us discuss the relationship between autonomous vehicles and Industry 4.0.
Understanding the Emergence of Autonomous Vehicles and Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution that is associated with cyber-physical systems. However, Industry 4.0 does not just limit industrial solutions and applications. Moreover, it refers to the interconnectivity of networks and machine intelligence.
According to Daniel Burrus, New York Times, bestselling author, technology futurist and the founder and CEO of the research and consulting firm Burrus Research states, “The general definition of Industry 4.0 is the rise of digital industrial technology … Industry 4.0 transformations allow us to work alongside machines in new, highly productive ways.”
Important technologies and components of Industry 4.0
- Big Data and AI Analytics
- Horizontal and Vertical Integration of Operational Processes
- Cloud Computing
- Augmented Reality
- Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
- 3D Printing
- Autonomous Robots
- Digital Twins
Industry 4.0 Benefits for various businesses
- Firstly, it offers significant improvements in productivity and automation.
- It is also a resilient infrastructure that provides agility evolving with the market and economic trends.
- Moreover, it helps businesses increase horizons and pursue opportunities for new business models.
- Further, it enables the use of green and sustainable resources while ensuring profitability.
Autonomous vehicles or driverless vehicles refer to vehicles that operate and perform functions eliminating human intervention. It also enables automation in the driving system to respond to external factors.
The Levels of Autonomous Vehicles
- Manual Driving: Level 0: Firstly, the driver is completely responsible and performs various driving tasks.
- Driver Assistance: Level 1: Moreover, the driver delegates control tasks into the driving system.
- Partial Automation: Level 2: Further, the driver, then takes a backseat monitors the vehicle’s judgments.
- Conditional Automation: Level 3: Certain situations may allow the driver to relinquish driving functions over to the vehicle.
- High Automation: Level 4: The driver can also transfer complete control to the vehicle’s system and seize control as per their requirements.
- Full Automation: Level 5: Lastly, the vehicle is completely autonomous and independent, unlike previous levels.
- Firstly, Industry 4.0 is a revolution that enables the use of emerging technologies. Moreover, the manufacturing industries in Industry 4.0 benefit well from autonomous vehicles. It also uses autonomous and semi-autonomous mobility to improve performance.
- Further, a report by PWC states, “US investment in private mobility companies over the last five years totaled $6.8 billion in the 2012-2017 period–with $2.6 billion invested in companies developing technology supporting autonomous passenger vehicles development (self-driving autos) and $4.2 billion in companies focused on technology for broad-use, non-auto autonomous mobility.”. As a result, this enables the Industrial Internet of Things to develop using autonomous mobility.
- Moreover, it evolves the concept of Machine Vision which helps with autonomous robots, self-driving vehicles, and automates machine mobility. Although the three-dimensional (3D) sensing technologies often face challenges to tracking and rebuilding objects in motion. However, businesses are now investing in parallel structured light to overcome the struggles. Therefore, it paves the way for new imaging cameras that are developed for autonomous vehicles.
- Integrating autonomous vehicles in Industry 4.0 leads to massively distributed manufacturing. That is to say, the manufacturing industry can easily distribute resources, services, and solutions to cater to various manufacturing requirements.
The manufacturing industry is at the heart of Industry 4.0 and also uses autonomous vehicles in its value chain. Moreover, the manufacturing industry often adopts emerging technologies to support their requirements.
Further, the use of powertrains, glass, metals, and infrastructures remain the same. Although there is a massive requirement for heavy machines that can efficiently perform tasks. Therefore, the advancement of autonomous vehicles offers process automation for smart manufacturing.
It also enhances the safety of employees who use their expertise to develop the process of automation, manage complex tasks and build more strategies.
Firstly, the market share for Agricultural robots is said to reach around $12 billion by 2026. Further, a study by IDTechEx states that more than 660K units of autonomous tractors will be sold by 2026 and the sale for the same would reach around $200 million dollars. Moreover, the potential of autonomous vehicles can help the industry curb the cost while increasing production.
For example, the autonomous tractor by CNH technologies uses GPS and sensors. It also offers continuous production value without human interventions.
Further, the integration of autonomous vehicles in Industry 4.0 makes the resources more efficient. It also facilitates the industry to invest in technologies that work with various agricultural processes. Hence, processes like fertilizer application, maneuvering, growing plants, etc. easily function without interruptions. Moreover, challenges like weather conditions may impact a human driver’s senses, but a machine works regardless of these challenges.
In conclusion, autonomous vehicles and Industry 4.0 have a very unique yet progressive relationship. Moreover, autonomous vehicles ensure automation and reliability in Industry 4.0. Hence, the amalgamation of the two leads to industrial mobility which streamlines various processes for industries.