Autonomous forklifts also known as self-driving forklifts eliminate the human factor in warehouse work. These forklifts are capable of independently maneuvering in the barns, carrying heavy loads, and loading-unloading them without any human interference.

Investment on infrastructure development and rapid industrialization coupled with expansion of the construction and transportation industry in developing countries are anticipated to boost the demand for material handling equipment such as forklifts during the forecast period. Advancements in technology provide more efficiency to mechanical components such as forklifts. This in turn is likely to boost the autonomous forklift market during the forecast period. The industrial growth in India and ASEAN countries is likely to expand rapidly during the forecast period. According to NITI Aayog (India), total spending on infrastructure development stood at about 9% of the country’s GDP in 2017 which was considerably higher than the last five years. Likewise, the private sector is playing a vital role in infrastructure development which includes roads and airport development. Expansion in these sectors is likely to boost the production of autonomous forklifts in the near future.

The autonomous forklift market is segmented based on the level of automation, tonnage, class, application, sales channel, fuel, and regions.

Based on level of automation, the autonomous forklift market is divided into L1, L2, L3, and others. Need for more efficient systems is likely to increase the autonomy of the component used in forklift. The autonomous forklift market is likely to grow in the near future due to enhanced demand from consumers for more advanced equipment.

By tonnage type, the autonomous forklift market is divided into below 5 tons, 5-10 tons, and more than 10 tons. Transportation of heavy goods in the machinery and aerospace industry needs accuracy and precision; autonomous forklifts can lift more weight. More than 10 tons segment is likely to expand at a significant pace.

According to class, the autonomous forklift market is segmented into Class I (Rider Forklifts), Class II (Narrow Aisle Forklifts), Class III (Hand Forklifts), Class IV (Indoor Use Forklifts), Class V (Internal Combustion Outdoor Forklift), Class VI (Tow Forklift), and Class VII (Rough Terrain & Aerial Forklift).

According to application, the autonomous forklift market is divided into manufacturing, warehousing, freight and logistics, and others. Increase in share of freight and logistics in the GDP of developing nations is likely to spur the growth of the segment significantly during the forecast period.

By sales channel, the autonomous forklift market is categorized into in-house purchase and leasing. Leasing is likely to dominate the market as higher investment is needed to purchase forklifts for in-house use for small enterprises.

Geographically, the autonomous forklift market is divided into Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Asia Pacific is the market leader due to higher share in transportation. Rail and sea freight transport is a major mode of transportation in Asia Pacific. Usage of forklifts is more in sea transportation. The construction sector in the U.S. and Asia Pacific, and expansion of the oil & gas sector across the globe are projected to boost the demand for material handling equipment and construction equipment during the forecast period. This in turn is anticipated to drive the autonomous forklift market during the forecast period.

Global players operating in the autonomous forklift market are Caterpillar, Hangcha, Hyster, Jungheinrich AG, Kaup, Linde Material Handling, and others.

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