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Driverless trucks in the Swedish freight transport system: An analysis of future impacts on the transport system and the emerging innovation system
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Centres, Integrated Transport Research Lab, ITRL.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7324-6691
2021 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A large-scale introduction of driverless trucks could start taking place during the next decade. While this could bring several economic benefits for freight transport actors and society, it may also change the freight transport system and exacerbate the negative effects of road transport. This thesis aims to increase the understanding of how an introduction of driverless trucks could materialize and impact the freight transport system in Sweden. Two overarching issues are addressed. The first is how freight transport patterns will change due to the impacts of driverless trucks on road transport supply. This is addressed in Paper 1 and Paper 2. The second issue, which is studied in Paper 3, is what factors are shaping the ongoing development towards an introduction of driverless trucks in Sweden. In Paper 1, the impact of driverless trucks on the costs for long-distance road freight transport is studied through a total cost of ownership analysis which shows that driverless trucks could enable cost reductions of around 30%-40% per ton-kilometer. A key determinant of the cost reduction is to what extent reduced driver costs will be offset by other forms of human labor that may be required for driverless truck operations. Other factors, including changes to the truck acquisition cost, have marginal importance. The cost-saving potential provides a strong motivation for freight transport actors to develop and adopt driverless trucks. In Paper 2, the impacts of driverless trucks on road transport demand, utilization of different truck types, modal split, and total logistics costs are studied by using the Swedish national freight transport model Samgods. Two scenario types are studied, one in which driverless trucks substitute manually driven trucks and one where driverless trucks capable of operating between logistics hubs are introduced as a complement to manually driven trucks. The analysis shows that in both scenarios, driverless trucks could reduce total costs for Swedish freight transport in the range of billions of SEK per year. Road transport demand and truck traffic volumes may increase significantly through modal shifts from rail and sea. This could lead to increased societal costs through, for instance, increased CO2 emissions and congestion which are, however, not quantified in the study. In Paper 3, an analysis of the innovation system of driverless trucks based on an interview study with actors involved in the development and introduction of driverless trucks in Sweden is presented. The findings suggest that there are several favorable factors for a successful introduction of driverless trucks, but also that the innovation system is characterized by a high degree of uncertainty related to what infrastructure will be required and available, what business models will be emerging, and which actors will be able to capitalize on the development and which actors that become marginalized in a future with driverless trucks. The findings from this thesis can be of interest for policymakers since it highlights potential benefits and challenges associated with driverless trucks from a transport-system perspective and the provided indicative quantitative estimates on system-level impacts offer a glimpse into a future freight transport system with driverless trucks. Also, the thesis highlights critical challenges for the innovation system of driverless trucks which could guide efforts to improve its performance.

Abstract [sv]

Ett storskaligt införande av förarlösa lastbilar kan komma att inledas under det kommande årtiondet. Detta skulle kunna medföra flera nyttor för transportköpare, transportbolag och samhället i stort men kan också leda till betydande förändringar av godstransportsystemet och ökade negativa effekter från vägtransporter. Syftet med denna avhandling är att öka förståelsen för hur ett införande av förarlösa lastbilar kan ske samt påverka godstransportsystemet i Sverige. Två övergripande frågeställningar studeras. Den första är hur förarlösa lastbilar påverkar utbudet för lastbilstransporter och därigenom förändrar godstransportsystemet. Detta studeras i Artikel 1 och Artikel 2. Den andra frågeställningen är vilka faktorer som påverkar den pågående utvecklingen mot ett införande av förarlösa lastbilar, vilket studeras i Artikel 3. I Artikel 1 görs en analys av hur förarlösa lastbilar kan påverka kostnaden för långväga lastbilstransporter. Denna visar att förarlösa lastbilar kan minska den totala ägandekostnaden med runt 30-40% per tonkilometer jämfört med konventionella lastbilar. Avgörande för hur stor kostnadsbesparingen blir är i vilken utsträckning minskningar i förarkostnader vägs upp av andra lönekostnader som uppstår vid användning av förarlösa lastbilar. Andra faktorer, inklusive förändringar av inköpspriset på lastbilar, har endast marginell påverkan. Den potentiella kostnadsbesparingen utgör ett tydligt motiv för godstransportaktörer att införa förarlösa lastbilar. I Artikel 2 studeras effekterna av förarlösa lastbilar på efterfrågan på lastbilstransporter, användningen av olika lastbilstyper, fördelningen mellan transportslag, och totala transportkostnader. Analysen görs med den svenska nationella godstransportmodellen Samgods och studerar två scenariotyper. I det första scenariot ersätter förarlösa lastbilar hela flottan av konventionella lastbilar. I det andra scenariot införs förarlösa lastbilar som enbart kan köra mellan logistikterminaler som ett komplement till konventionella lastbilar. Analysen visar att förarlösa lastbilar leder till en betydande ökning av efterfrågan på lastbilstransporter till följd av överflyttningfrån sjöfart och järnväg i båda scenarierna. På nationell systemnivå kan förarlösa lastbilar minska de totala kostnaderna för svenska godstransporter i storleksordningen miljarder kronor per år. Åandra sidan kan den betydande ökningen av lastbilstrafik också medföra ökade samhällsekonomiska kostnader, till exempel genom ökade koldioxidutsläpp och trängsel, vilka dock inte kvantifieras i studien. I Artikel 3 presenteras en analys av innovationssystemet för förarlösa lastbilar som bygger på en intervjustudie med aktörer involverade i utvecklingen och införandet av förarlösa lastbilar i Sverige. Resultaten indikerar att det finns flertalet gynnsamma faktorer för ett framgångsrikt införande, samtidigt som innovationssystemet i flera avseenden karakteriseras av en låg mognadsgrad och stora osäkerheter kopplade till infrastrukturfrågor, vilka affärsmodeller som kommer uppstå samt vilka aktörer som kommer gynnas eller missgynnas av utvecklingen. Resultaten från denna avhandling kan vara av intresse för beslutsfattare då de belyser potentiella nyttor och utmaningar med förarlösa lastbilar från ett transportsystemperspektiv och de indikativa systemeffekter som kvantifieras ger en fingervisning om hur ett framtida godstransportsystem med förarlösa lastbilar kan se ut. Avhandlingen belyser också viktiga utmaningar för innovationssystemet för förarlösa lastbilar vilket kan vägleda eventuella ansträngningar för att förbättra det.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2021. , p. 139
Series
TRITA-ITM-AVL ; 2021:28
Keywords [en]
Driverless Trucks, Automated Driving, Total Cost of Ownership, Freight Transport Modeling, Innovation Systems
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Machine Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-294580ISBN: 978-91-7873-906-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-294580DiVA, id: diva2:1555468
Presentation
2021-06-09, https://kth-se.zoom.us/j/61482542722, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Transport Administration, TRV 2017/22806Available from: 2021-05-18 Created: 2021-05-18 Last updated: 2022-06-25Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Cost Analysis of Driverless Truck Operations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cost Analysis of Driverless Truck Operations
2020 (English)In: Transportation Research Record, ISSN 0361-1981, E-ISSN 2169-4052Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Road freight transport is believed by many to be the first transport domain in which driverless (DL) vehicles will have a significant impact. However, in current literature almost no attention has been given to how the diffusion of DL trucks might occur and how it might affect the transport system. To make predictions on the market uptake and to model impacts of DL truck deployment, valid cost estimates of DL truck operations are crucial. In this paper, an analysis of costs and cost structures for DL truck operations, including indicative numerical cost estimates, is presented. The total cost of ownership for DL trucks compared with that for manually driven (MD) trucks has been analyzed for four different truck types (16-, 24-, 40-, and 64-ton trucks), for three scenarios reflecting pessimistic, intermediate, and optimistic assumptions on economic impacts of driving automation based on current literature. The results indicate that DL trucks may enable substantial cost savings compared with the MD truck baseline. In the base (intermediate) scenario, costs per 1,000 ton-kilometer decrease by 45%, 37%, 33%, and 29% for 16-, 24-, 40-, and 60-ton trucks, respectively. The findings confirm the established view in the literature that freight transport is a highly attractive area for DL vehicles because of the potential economic benefits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE Publications, 2020
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-279806 (URN)10.1177/0361198120930228 (DOI)000558797400001 ()2-s2.0-85092315108 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Transport Administration, TRV 2017/22806
Note

QC 20200922

Available from: 2020-08-28 Created: 2020-08-28 Last updated: 2022-06-25Bibliographically approved
2. Impacts of Large-Scale Driverless Truck Adoption on the Freight Transport System
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Impacts of Large-Scale Driverless Truck Adoption on the Freight Transport System
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Driverless trucks could potentially lead to a significant reduction in road freight transport costs and thereby change the freight transport system. In this paper, a method to study the impacts of large-scale adoption of driverless trucks on transport systems is presented and applied to the Swedish freight transport system. An analysis of the impacts on transport patterns and system costs, considering all transport modes, is performed. The method is based on extending the application domain of the Swedish national freight transport model Samgods to two types of driverless truck scenarios.

The first scenario represents a full adoption of driverless trucks that can operate the complete road network. The results show that there is an increase in road transport tonne-kilometers on Swedish territory by 22% and vehicle kilometers traveled by trucks increase by 35%, compared to a baseline scenario without driverless trucks. The annual total transport system costs decrease by 1.7 B€.

In the second scenario, the current fleet of manually driven trucks is complemented by driverless trucks that can operate between logistics hubs, but not in complex traffic environments like urban areas due to a limited operational design domain. This may be an initial use-case for driverless trucks operating on public roads. In this scenario, road tonne-kilometers increase by 11%, truck vehicle kilometers increase by 15%, and annual total transport system costs decrease by 1.2 B€ compared to the baseline.

For both scenarios, the impacts of driverless trucks vary significantly across commodity types and transport distances which suggest heterogeneity of benefits of automated driving between different types of freight flows. A sensitivity analysis is performed for the level of cost reduction of driverless trucks compared to manually driven trucks for both scenarios. For the second scenario, also which sections of the road network that driverless trucks can operate are varied. The magnitude of system impacts are for both scenarios highly dependent on the cost level of driverless trucks and it is crucial to enable driverless trucks for international, cross-border transport to achieve economic benefits on a system-level.

Driverless trucks may also have significant societal costs due to potential infrastructure investments and from negative externalities such as increasing CO2 emissions and congestion. These are important topics for future research. Finally, the even more road-dominant transport system resulting from an introduction of driverless trucks strengthens the need to decarbonize road transport to meet non-negotiable climate targets.

Keywords
Driverless trucks, automated vehicles, freight transport modeling, transport system analysis, impact analysis
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-294579 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Transport Administration, TRV 2017/22806
Note

QC 20210518

Available from: 2021-05-18 Created: 2021-05-18 Last updated: 2022-06-25Bibliographically approved
3. The emerging technological innovation system of driverless trucks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The emerging technological innovation system of driverless trucks
Show others...
2020 (English)In: Transportation Research Procedia, Elsevier BV , 2020, Vol. 49, p. 145-149Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Driving automation technology is attractive for the road freight transport sector since driverless trucks (DL-trucks) may drastically reduce driver costs, increase truck utilization and improve road safety. Although DL-trucks may bring significant impacts to the transport system, research on the future diffusion and impacts of DL-trucks is scarce compared to passenger transport. In this paper the sociotechnical innovation system developing, diffusing and utilizing DL-trucks in Sweden is analyzed based on the technological innovation systems (TIS) framework. The analysis is based on 20 expert interviews with a total of 23 representatives from 16 actors in the DL-truck TIS in Sweden. The TIS analysis shows that there are significant uncertainties in the timeline, operational capabilities, infrastructure requirements and regulative landscape for a widespread DL-truck deployment. There is a general view among the interviewees that DL-trucks is an important opportunity for Swedish industry and the economy. From a transport system perspective, DL-trucks are expected to bring sustainability benefits but it remains uncertain whether these benefits will be realized and what the negative side effects might be. The development of DL-trucks is heavily influenced by incumbent firms in the truck manufacturing industry but new actors from the telecom sector, energy sector and emerging truck technology companies are entering the area and shaping the development. The current relatively rigid institutions for truck manufacturing and road freight transport will require significant alignment to adapt to DL-truck operations in areas such as laws and regulations, business models and operational practices. The value chain of road freight transport may be disrupted as some of the current key actors, for instance traditional road carriers, could become less relevant in future DL-truck value chains. A critical uncertainty is how and by which actors the setting of requirements, deployment and financing of digital infrastructure for DL-trucks will be done.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier BV, 2020
Series
Transportation Research Procedia, ISSN 2352-1457 ; 49
Keywords
Automated driving, Driverless trucks, Road freight transport, Technological Innovation Systems
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-290403 (URN)10.1016/j.trpro.2020.09.013 (DOI)2-s2.0-85096493479 (Scopus ID)
Conference
47th European Transport Conference, ETC 2019; Dublin; Ireland; 9 October 2019 through 11 October 2019;
Note

QC 20210218

Available from: 2021-02-18 Created: 2021-02-18 Last updated: 2022-06-25Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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