Smart Highway Market size is expected to expand substantially over 2021-2027, on account of a significant increase in smart city projects worldwide. For example, China has nearly 300 smart city projects, while India has allocated trillions to develop over 100 smart cities. Likewise, strong focus on the advancements of smart road infrastructures for a self-driving future is anticipated to add further impetus to the industry demand.
Smart highway refers to a combination of roads equipped with innovative materials and digital devices to enable rapid data exchange with vehicles and service managers. This solution allows for technological integration into the existing transportation roadways, including IoT and connected devices, to increase transport efficiency, safety and promote sustainability.
Rapid urbanization, increasing population, and the subsequent rise in vehicle adoption are the prominent trends characterizing the overall smart highway market dynamics. The sprawling growth of cars exacerbates urban carrying loads and increases road traffic burdens. In order to cater to such issues, smart cities are consistently being developed to analyze, sense, and integrate the core systems of the urban operations and in turn, make intelligent responses to various public concerns. Factors such as these are projected to contribute to smart highway construction activities in the upcoming years.
On the basis of type, the intelligent transportation management segment will amass considerable profits by 2027. This is attributable to the technology’s ability to tackle transportation problems by improving the overall safety, traffic flow efficiency, and environmental sustainability of the vehicles. Intelligent transportation systems can also speed up the monitoring of vehicle health and anomaly diagnosis, collection of road analytics data, efficient traffic management, and dealing with road emergencies.
From a regional perspective, Europe is expected to emerge as a lucrative revenue pocket for the smart highway market share by 2027. The regional market expansion is driven by rapid urbanization, the rise of new mobility solutions, and population growth, especially in France. With over 750,000 miles of roads, the country has one of the largest road networks in Europe. Due to the high road traffic, it is evolving towards greener forms of transportation by supporting e-bikes and car-sharing, which will further augment smart highway development over the forthcoming years.
The competitive landscape of the smart highway market consists of companies such as IBM Corporation, Cisco System, Kapsch AG, Infineon Technologies, LG CNS, Xerox Corporation, Siemens AG, and Alcatel-Lucent, among others. These firms are implementing various strategies like business expansions and mergers and acquisitions to reinforce their footprint across the global market.
For instance, in July 2021, Siemens Intelligent Traffic Systems was rebranded as Yunex Traffic, with an objective to shape the ‘what’s next in traffic’ movement. This initiative was geared towards enabling the global city and mobility operators to intelligently integrate and optimize traffic management.
In January 2021, Ferrovial announced plans to develop 5G smart roads and advanced sensorization, monitoring, and simulation technology, in collaboration with 3M, Microsoft, and Kapsch TrafficCom. This project was developed to enhance traveler experiences as well as increase safety and access to infotainment from vehicles with the establishment of intelligent road infrastructure technologies.
One of the biggest global impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is the reduced demand for passenger transport, due to the government-mandated lockdowns and policies to limit the spread of the virus. Road transport activity worldwide was over 50% below the 2019 average by March 2020 end. Disruptions across the transport sector and delays in smart city projects completion have created challenges to the steady growth of the smart highway market over the past months.
However, the robust focus on the integration of smart technologies to reduce physical contact and allow seamless flow of services and goods amid the crisis may lead to the evolution of the smart highway concept. Various countries are leveraging intelligent technologies to boost road transport, including the development of electronic tracking and contactless terminals. These road transport system innovations and the gradual ease of lockdown restrictions could also aid in industry share recovery in the years ahead.
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