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Impacts of large-scale driverless truck adoption on the freight transport system
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Centres, Integrated Transport Research Lab, ITRL.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7324-6691
VTI Swedish Natl Rd & Transport Res Inst, Linköping, Sweden..
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Centres, Integrated Transport Research Lab, ITRL.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2011-6273
2021 (English)In: Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, ISSN 0965-8564, E-ISSN 1879-2375, Vol. 154, p. 227-254Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents an analysis of the potential impacts of large-scale adoption of driverless trucks on transport patterns and system costs for a national freight transport system with Sweden as a case study. The analysis is performed by extending the application domain of the Swedish national freight transport model Samgods to analyze two types of driverless truck scenarios. The first scenario represents a full adoption of driverless trucks that can operate the complete road network and thereby substitute manually driven trucks. In this scenario, road transport tonne-kilometers on Swedish territory increase by 22%, vehicle kilometers traveled by trucks increase by 35% and annual total system costs decrease by 1.7 B(sic) compared to a baseline scenario without driverless trucks. In the second scenario, the current fleet of manually driven trucks is complemented by driverless trucks that can operate on major roads 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 traveled increase by 15%, and annual total system costs decrease by 1.2 B_ compared to the baseline. For both scenarios, the impacts of driverless trucks vary significantly between commodity types and transport distances which suggests heterogeneity of benefits of automated driving between different types of freight flows. A sensitivity analysis is performed in which the costs for driverless truck operations is varied, and for the second scenario, also which parts of the road network that driverless trucks can operate are varied. This analysis indicates that the magnitude of impacts is highly dependent on the cost level of driverless trucks and that the ability for DL-trucks to perform international, cross-border transport is crucial for achieving reductions in system costs. An overarching conclusion of the study is that driverless trucks may lead to a significant increase in road transport demand due to modal shifts from rail and sea as a result of the improved cost performance of road transport. This would further strengthen the need to decarbonize road transport to meet non-negotiable climate targets. Important topics for future research include assessing potential societal costs related to driverless trucks due to infrastructure investments and negative externalities such as increasing CO2 emissions and congestion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD , 2021. Vol. 154, p. 227-254
Keywords [en]
Driverless trucks, Automated vehicles, Freight transport modeling, Transport system analysis, Impact analysis
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-309050DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2021.10.014ISI: 000749882100012Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85118359183OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-309050DiVA, id: diva2:1639395
Note

QC 20220221

Available from: 2022-02-21 Created: 2022-02-21 Last updated: 2022-06-25Bibliographically approved

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Engholm, AlbinPernestål Brenden, Anna

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