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Estimating the potential of self-driving vehicles for freight transport

Analyse how introduction of sef-driving freight vehicles will impact the transport system and society.




To better understand how the introduction of SDVs for freight transport will impact the transport system and society, it is important to understand which types and volumes of freight transportation works that are plausible for automation with state-of-the art technology.


Development of connected and automated vehicles is fast, and within a few years self-driving vehicles (SDVs) are expected to operate on public streets. An area that might be the first to see a large-scale roll out of SDVs is freight transport. So far, not much research has been done on SDVs for freight transport, but existing studies indicate that the socio-economic potential and business opportunities are greater than for personal transport.


In this thesis project the goal is to estimate the potential of SDVs for freight transport on Swedish roads in terms of transport volumes. The approach and method for reaching the goal are flexible but will likely require a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. Some of the tasks in the project are:

  1. Identify and categorise potential types of transportation works for SDVs in freight transport
  2. Analyse general rationales, opportunities and barriers for adopting SDVs in the identified categories
  3. Quantify the number of application cases and transport volumes based on the results from task 1 and 2.

The thesis work is hosted by Trafikverket and will contribute to ongoing research about impact of self-driving vehicles in Sweden at Integrated Transport Research Lab (ITRL) and VTI. The thesis results may be used as input to the research project System level impacts of self-driving vehicles that ITRL runs together with Trafikverket and VTI. Depending on timing and results, you may also have the opportunity to create a scientific paper out of your work.


Method include literature studies, user studies and stakeholder analysis, and design of mobility services. In addition, an evaluation methodology should be designed, and applied to proposed services.


Peter Smeds 010-123 58 75, for mail contact, go to "Kontakta oss" under the headline on this page.
Due to summer vacation, feedback on application will be given in August