The Long Road to Automated Trucking: Insights from Driver Focus Groups
30 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 4, 2021
With the rapid progress of automated driving technology, self-driving vehicles are on the horizon. In this study, we look at what is likely to be the first implementation of a form of automated driving on public roads, i.e., truck platooning, where virtually connected trucks drive at short headways to save fuel and associated emissions. With progressing technology, we may see platoons with drivers resting while being in the truck or even platoons in which not all trucks require drivers. Hence, platooning technology has a significant impact on the jobs of truck drivers. Driver acceptance of this emerging technology is therefore an important factor in the implementation of platooning and, consequently, automated driving in general. In this study, we explore the range of perspectives that exist among drivers by conducting focus groups in the Netherlands. These discussions indicate that drivers foresee that platooning will eventually become a reality but believe it will have a negative impact on the quality of their work and their job satisfaction.
Keywords: automated trucking, driver focus groups, self-driving vehicles, truck platooning
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