Cost Analysis of Driverless Truck Operations

Publisher's full text
Albin Engholm
Anna Pernestal

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.



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