Mobility for Commercial Vehicles: Field testing of truck platooning on public roads

Autonomous driving technology initiatives by truck manufacturers and industry correlation diagram

2019/09/03

Summary

The Scania NXT body module can be changed for different applications (Source: Scania)

 In the midst of what is being known as “a transformation in the automotive industry that occurs only once in 100 years”, automotive companies are working harder with passenger cars to commercialize unmanned vehicles (Level 5) that do not require driver engagement.

 While the topic is primarily focused on passenger cars, the development of automation is also steadily progressing in the field of commercial vehicles such as trucks. It goes without saying that autonomous driving of commercial vehicles will address safety, but there are various problems such as the shortage of drivers in the transportation industry and an aging driver workforce, as well as the discontinuation of route bus services in depopulated areas for which the expectation for autonomous driving technologies to improve the situation is significantly greater than for passenger cars. In addition, since the improvement of commercial distribution and transportation services is directly linked to people's lives, countries around the world have been making efforts at the national level to enable the realization of these technologies.


 With regards to “commercial mobility” using autonomous driving technology for commercial vehicles, this report focus on the efforts being made by some of the major truck manufacturers around the world and initiatives for the era of autonomous driving that are being promoted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in Japan. This report also covers efforts being made with regards to the field testing of truck platooning to improve road freight transportation efficiency and reduce the risk of accidents.

 

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