Autonomous trucks viable within a decade

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Over three quarters of road transport companies believe autonomous trucks will become a viable option on the roads within the next decade, according to survey by the International Road Transport Union (IRU).

The survey, which covered 450 transport companies across Europe, the Gulf and Asia, found that 57 per cent believe that geo-political uncertainty is the biggest threat to their development, but technology and innovation is key to overcoming the challenges.

IRU secretary general Umberto de Pretto said: “The global transport system touches the lives of each of the planet’s seven billion people, from the food we eat to the consumer goods we buy. So it’s perhaps not surprising that many of the issues facing society today are also considered by transport companies to be their biggest challenges. These include some of the main themes that dominate the international agenda, including geopolitics, trade and the environment.”

Some 76 per cent of transport companies expect autonomous trucks to become a viable option in the next decade, of these 29 per cent believe they will be a reality in the next five years.

“For technology to take hold, and for the industry to truly benefit from it, we must ensure we have the foundations in place,” said de Pretto.

“This means first getting the basics right, such as full transitioning to digital documentation, improving traceability, security and efficiency. We must work harder to join the dots between operators, service providers, manufacturers and governments to nurture a supportive environment for innovation and digitisation.”

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