Global Transport Sector Insight Report 

We asked 108 global executives active in road and rail what they think about new technologies and digitalization. Download the study and get the insights
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With AI and 5G, transport gears up for a new digital decade

Digitalization has taken a big step forward in the last two years – both in terms of expectations and also in terms of implementation. As pressure on transport systems grows, can digital technologies lead mobility into a new decade? You can find a summary of our study here and download the complete paper for all insights and results.

Research subject: Greatest potential

Which digital technologies have the greatest potential to improve the transportation sector in the next 3-5 years?

Our study shows that in 2021 executives in transport believe the following digital technologies have the greatest potential to improve the sector:

  • 5G networks: 86%, up from 24% in 2019
  • Autonomous vehicles: 83%, up from 35%
  • Artificial Intelligence: 81%, up from 68% 

5G is both an evolution and a revolution for transport. It’s an evolution for many end devices by increasing data throughput and data quality. And it will become a revolution once trains can be driven remotely through 5G. And AI can help transit operators optimize Demand-Responsive Transport for connecting first and last mile travel to and from the public transport network and therefore optimize utilization.

“We are at a turning point. AI and its certifiable applications will be big game-changers.”
Prof. Dr. Jens Braband, Principal Key Expert, Siemens Mobility

Research subject: Currently in development pipeline

Which of these technologies are currently in your development pipeline?

Use cases proliferate

Awareness of the possibilities that these technologies have to offer has significantly picked up. As a result, more companies are beginning to explore and build use cases.


  • 60% of respondents say they are implementing or building a use case for AI
  • 2019: only 5% were implementing or building a use case
  • 52% say they are implementing or building a use case for 5G networks
  • 2019: only 4% were implementing or building a use case

Research subject: Greatest challenges 

What do you see as the greatest challenges for the next 2 years? 

Why is the industry suddenly adopting this technology?

Digital technologies will help the transport sector tackle its biggest challenges:

1. Aging infrastructure and assets

2. Rising passenger expectations


Infrastructure is aging, and often depends on carbon-intensive forms of energy, which is increasingly unacceptable to the public. At the same time, pressure is growing on transportation networks to move more people and goods – especially in urban areas.


So transport companies are turning to innovation in digitalization and automation to relieve congestion and provide more convenient and sustainable modes of transport. In rail, investments in digital technology rather than tracks can create long-term savings by reducing energy usage and increasing overall efficiency.

But security is a problem

So digital technology could save transportation, but it also creates new obstacles. Cybersecurity is one of them. Can the sector protect its new digital systems?

  •  49% of respondents believe that cybersecurity will become an increasing difficulty for their organization over the next two years
  • 2019: 30%
Global Transport Sector Insight Report

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