The construction industry was hit by more than a million job losses at the outset of the pandemic when project cancellations impacted many firms.
Since then, in some areas, sectors like mining have been hard-hit with virus outbreaks.
According to Reuters, demand is surging for heavy equipment that doesn’t require an operator to be on board.
Market leader Caterpillar has been ramping up R&D in autonomous equipment since 2017.
Its technology can be bolted on to existing machines, so it can be used on competitor products in mixed fleets.
Reuters says sales of CAT’s autonomous equipment for mining applications have grown at twice the rate of 2019.
In contrast, sales of its more traditional equipment, like bulldozers and trucks, have been falling in 2020.
Fresh off months-long shutdowns, construction industry experts say investment in autonomous vehicles has accelerated as companies hope to take drivers out of the trucks.