Growing Interest in AI Enabled Construction Equipment
The COVID-19 global pandemic made 2020 a challenging year for the heavy machinery industry which saw significant production declines compared to 2019. Demand is expected to return to normal in 2021 as a result of government commitments to invest in infrastructure. Due to labor shortages caused by an aging workforce and compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, there has been increased interest in autonomous construction technology. One area that is predicted to see growth in 2021 is artificial intelligence guidance systems. These may be built into new construction machinery or retrofitted to existing machinery, allowing machines to work without a human operator.
Another trend that is expected in 2021 is a shift from buying to leasing heavy equipment with more construction companies looking to avoid the costs associated with maintaining and storing machinery as well as depreciation when equipment needs to be replaced. There is also expected to be an increasing focus on construction equipment as a service. This creates opportunities for original equipment manufacturers to offer remote monitoring services to enable customers to gain valuable insight into their equipment performance. Several manufacturers have already launched subscription models and it is expected that more will follow suit in 2021.
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