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On the road toward the autonomous truck

2015

Until 2025 the truck industry will have to become more efficient, green, connected and safe. The importance of SAFE is set to rise in the coming years. Efforts to increase truck safety were strongly focused on reducing the impact of truck-related accidents in the past. Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) now offer the opportunity to achieve accident-free transportation. While e.g., the sensor technology is already quite mature, key challenges still remain to be resolved:

  • From a technical perspective, the main need for innovation is on the software side. Systems must orchestrate highly complex driving behaviors and have an architecture that protects against technical failure and covers system malfunction.
  • A new legal (end insurance) framework is required before any autonomous trucks can drive on public roads. Today, autonomous driving is prohibited by law. A key question to be addressed by a revised legal framework is liability (OEMs, suppliers, drivers).

Our recent study focuses on the drivers of self-driving technology and sketches the way forward from a technology and a legal perspective. It also discusses the implications for the OEMs and suppliers:

  • For OEMs, the main task now is to prepare technologically for self-driving trucks by further developing ADAS operating understanding on the vehicle and system level in-house.
  • For suppliers, the future focus must encompass both technology (sensor and software development) and effective business models for providing both complete systems and ADAS components only.

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