There could be savings of up to 50% when automated trucks and buses are introduced – and experts anticipate that automated vehicles will revolutionise the transport industry. They will revolutionise the efficiency of mobility and logistics in the commercial vehicle space. That’s according to MAN Truck & Bus, a leading European commercial vehicle manufacturer in Munich, Germany. But how far along is driverless technology right now?
Electronic braking systems and electronically supported gear-shifting have already contributed to the safety and comfort of drivers and passengers, and there are currently vehicles that make use of lane assist, emergency brake assist, adaptive cruise control or turn-off assist.
Some vehicles use cameras on the windshield to collect data and calculate whether they are staying in their lanes, while others use radar to check if they are maintaining the correct following distance. Then there are those that use data on inclines/descents from their navigation systems to achieve the correct balance between acceleration and cruising for the most economical driving style.
Technology has been available for some time now that enables Fleet Managers to run their fleets more effectively. These systems can reduce accidents and the lost productivity caused by them, not to mention improving the total cost of ownership and reducing fuel spend. This has already resulted in significant savings.
Experts predict another 35%-50% saving in the final development stage when electronic software and algorithms replace the driver. The costs of employing drivers and the productivity time saved on their breaks and rest periods account for huge savings.
But before you get excited, we’re not quite there yet. Experts say that the legislation and fast mobile internet required for autonomous commercial vehicles could mean that they will probably be introduced in about 10 years’ time in Europe.
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