Japan leverages autonomous driving to address trucking industry shortage

Japan leverages autonomous driving to address trucking industry shortage

One of the problems with US investors is they tend not to look much past thier shores for investment opportunities or confirming data points. Here at Tematica, we recognize our investment themes are global in nature, and that causes us to take a more wholistic perspective. The US is not the only country battling truck and truck driver shortages nor is it the only one that looks to address these problems and others with Disruptive Technoloiges and Business Models, such as autonomous driving. Much like the US, Japan is likely dealing with not only an aging population, but also the increasing shift toward digital commerce that is driving (no pun intended) robust growth in package shipping.

We often say here at Tematica that the more thematic tailwinds pushing on a companies the businesses. When it comes to confirming data points, the more the better holds true, especailly with confirmation across geographies.


Japan’s fleet of internet-connected trucks is expected to grow by 150% to more than 500,000 in 2020 as commercial vehicle makers cater to a logistics industry suffering from a driver shortage, corporate plans show.

UD Trucks, a Japan-based unit of Volvo Group, plans to have 100,000 connected trucks on Japanese roads in 2020 and 150,000 in 2025. Its Quon line of heavy-duty trucks features communications systems as standard equipment. The company will also offer a wider variety of remote services, such as predicting engine problems to ensure efficient maintenance.

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus will expand the range of connected models in its Super Great line. These systems will also be added to new models, such as the electric eCanter, which is slated for a full rollout in 2020. The automaker is aiming for 100,000 connected trucks by that year.

Isuzu Motors, planning 250,000 connected trucks by fiscal 2020, will expand the monitoring service in its heavy-duty Giga series to light and medium trucks. Hino Motors will roll out similar services for medium and heavy trucks in April.This influx would boost the share of connected trucks in Japan to around 15% of the country’s 3.5 million or so trucks, up from about 5% now.

Source: Half a million connected trucks to ease Japan’s driver shortage – Nikkei Asian Review

About the Author

Chris Versace, Chief Investment Officer
I'm the Chief Investment Officer of Tematica Research and editor of Tematica Investing newsletter. All of that capitalizes on my near 20 years in the investment industry, nearly all of it breaking down industries and recommending stocks. In that time, I've been ranked an All Star Analyst by Zacks Investment Research and my efforts in analyzing industries, companies and equities have been recognized by both Institutional Investor and Thomson Reuters’ StarMine Monitor. In my travels, I've covered cyclicals, tech and more, which gives me a different vantage point, one that uses not only an ecosystem or food chain perspective, but one that also examines demographics, economics, psychographics and more when formulating my investment views. The question I most often get is "Are you related to…."

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