Advancements in technologies that enable vehicles to be self-driving have progressed significantly in the past few years. Demonstrations around the globe are proving that this is a potential option for all types of vehicles from personal mobility passenger cars to many forms of commercial vehicles, and will lead to many safety, efficiency, and utilization improvements.
Some researchers believe that a fully automated truck could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 10%, improve highway traffic flow and could also reduce truck crashes. Proponents of autonomous trucks also believe they will cut CO2 emissions. However, there are challenges on the road to autonomy including societal concerns and cybersecurity issues.
In late 2016, NACFE published a report on two-truck platooning — which is a step on the road to autonomy — in which the benefits and consequences of platooning two driven tractor-trailers were studied in depth. That work resulted in the insight that the trucking industry is on a path to more automated driving with real value to end users occurring throughout various stages of an evolution to autonomous trucking.