The autonomous truck is the next big advancement in the automotive industry. The advance technology system which is collectively referred to as “Advance Driver Assistance system (ADAS)” consist of simple automated tool such as cruise control and automated gear changing. The autonomous truck may be classified on the basis of level of autonomy. Level one includes assisted trucks. Here the driver is responsible for motion control while the vehicle provide advisory and supportive action. Level two includes semi-automated trucks where the vehicle takes control under specific circumstances and at the driver’s discretion. Level three include highly automated trucks in which all aspect of vehicle control is automated. Level four includes fully automated trucks where the vehicle is capable of driving itself in all the circumstances
The automated trucks addresses several challenges that the trucking industry is facing which may include: hours of service, safety issue, shortage of drivers and fuel costs. The fleet owner impact due to the development of autonomous truck include reduction of traffic jams, higher driver retention, lower transport cost and improved truck utilization. The societal impact of the advancement of the technology may include emission reduction, accident mitigation, congestion reduction and safer road. Autonomous trucks are enabled with the interplay of technological area such as hardware, software and integrated controls. Key technological requirement for automated trucks include sensors to input about the environment as well as communication with the cloud. V2X connectivity for communication with the other trucks and with the other infrastructure (such as buildings and roads), vehicle control system for vehicle actuation and output control. Mapping and path planning control for route and motion planning on map. And the integrated control to supervise control over system and therefore help in decision algorithm.
The autonomous truck market is driven by the growing need to efficiently manage the transportation business under minimum cost and time. The autonomous truck market displays significant developments that has led to market spurge. These developments include declining cost of autonomous driving technologies, favorable legislative framework availability of autonomous technologies and social acceptance. Trucking represent a considerable portion of the cost of goods the consumers buy. With the frequent adoption of the autonomous trucks, consumer, everywhere would experience the change of lower price and higher standard of living. The growth of autonomous truck market may lead to the emergence of new business model. Since commercial feasibility of automated units require support services or function. Therefore service provider or warehouses with automated loading and unloading function may develop in parlance to the autonomous market. However, the mass adoption of the technology may lead to job cuts in coming year and may adversely affect gas stations, rest stop and motel and highway diners. The resistance from certain segment of the society may, therefore restrict the growth of the market. Nevertheless, the benefits from adopting the technology and huge scope of it in coming years may outlaw the limitations that restricts the market growth.
Key players in the autonomous truck market includes Uber technologies Inc., Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co., AB Volvo.