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Industrie 4.0

Autonomous transport costs only half as much

Digitization and autonomous driving are expected to halve transport costs by 2030. The production of trucks will also become cheaper by eliminating the driver's cab and simplifying the design.

30 Sep. 2018
Autonomous transport costs only half as much (Photo: PwC Strategy& Germany)

This is the prediction of a study by consulting firm PwC . The consultants attribute most of the potential 47% savings in transportation costs to staff reductions. They also see "enormous increases in efficiency": instead of the current 29%, commercial vehicles could be working at full capacity 78% of the time from 2030. This is possible by eliminating driver resting periods while reducing idle times through the use of algorithms.

Truck manufacturers also stand to save costs in future, according to PwC. Eliminating the driver's cab would boost potential savings of up to 30,000 euros per vehicle. Although this would be offset by higher costs for technology such as image-processing software, a cost reduction of around 7% would nevertheless be the bottom line result. Yet there are still challenges to overcome: "The missing piece of the puzzle is currently the automated comparison of freight and available vehicles," explains Dr. Gerhard Nowak, Partner at Strategy&, the strategy consultancy of PwC.

The consulting firm Roland Berger also published a study on the future of the transport industry. It predicts cost savings of up to 40% per kilometer. Roland Berger expects fully self-propelled trucks from 2025 to 2030, given the creation of an appropriate infrastructure.

((Autor: David Schahinian))