With self-driving and autonomous vehicle technology still in its infancy, it’s only a matter of time before these cars appear on the road. However, it could be trucks that make an appearance before cars.

“Self-driving trucks may even arrive before autonomous cars because highway driving is less complex than navigating neighborhoods,” wrote Ian King in a Banyan Hill article. “Intelligent big rigs will play a role in America’s economic boom in the next decade.”

The level of activity in the transportation sector is often a sign of health for the economy. Of course, the more activity, the better.

“You see, trucking is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy,” King wrote. “Over 65% of the food we consume and the goods we buy spend some time on a truck before it arrives in our home. When these items can travel in a more affordable and efficient manner, not only will they be cheaper, but companies’ profit margins will also increase.”

One of the main drivers for using self-driving trucks is the amount of costs it would save.

“Currently, it costs $1.82 per mile to truck goods to the market. But consulting giant McKinsey sees a 45% drop in operating costs with full autonomy. That means trucking costs could drop to $1 a mile, or even less,” King wrote.

“This would create a cost savings of $85 billion to $125 billion a year in the U.S. for-hire trucking industry,” he added. “It will open up new markets for local companies that can now move goods for less money. This will create a more competitive landscape, the necessary backdrop of productivity. McKinsey expects this to happen in four waves. Each wave will lower the operator’s total cost of ownership.”

All the innovation in the sector bodes well for the Global X Autonomous & Electric Vehicles ETF (NYSEArca: DRIV). DRIV seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Solactive Autonomous & Electric Vehicles Index.

DRIV Chart

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DRIV provides:

  • High Growth Potential: DRIV enables investors to access high growth potential through companies critical to the development of autonomous and electric vehicles – a potentially transformative economic innovation.
  • Unconstrained Approach: DRIV’s composition transcends classic sector, industry, and geographic classifications by tracking an emerging technological theme.
  • ETF Efficiency: In a single trade, DRIV delivers access to dozens of companies with high exposure to the autonomous and electric vehicles theme.

Disruption will eventually permeate all sectors in addition to the automotive industry. For a broad market play on disruption, investors can look at the ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF (NYSEARCA: ARKQ).

For more market trends, visit ETF Trends.