If you are involved in logistics, you’ve probably heard the term “autonomous vehicles” being thrown around more frequently over the past couple of years. While autonomous vehicles may conjure more personal-themed images of self-driving cars and electric chargers at grocery stores, these vehicles are making a big impact in the logistics scene.
So, what are autonomous vehicles, and why are they the hot new tech of logistics in 2022? Read on to learn seven vital things to know about these cutting-edge vehicles.
1) They are Technologically Advanced
While autonomous vehicles are self-driving, the technology used in them goes far beyond that. Autonomous trucks used in logistics also can pull data related to climate conditions, traffic signals, and expected hurdles. All of this data works together to inform the truck where the best routes are, saving time on the road and reducing emissions.
2) They are Reducing Transport Expenses
One of the top perks of reducing road time is ultimately, reducing expenses. Additionally, autonomous vehicles use their data to create the best fuel efficiency conditions possible. For electric AVs, the independence from the rising cost of fuel is yet another cost saving bonus.
3) There are Five Levels of Automation
It’s easy to assume that vehicles are either autonomous or not, but there are five different levels of automation. In fact, your personal vehicle may already have some of these!
- Level 1 Autonomous Driving – Driver assistance. Things such as cruise control and emergency brake assistance.
- Level 2 Autonomous Driving – Partial automation. Self-parking vehicles fall in this category.
- Level 3 Autonomous Driving – Conditional automation. This is considered the first level of “high automation”. These vehicles may self-drive under specific conditions.
- Level 4 Autonomous Driving – High automation. These vehicles can navigate most city streets and highways independently.
- Level 5 Autonomous Driving – Full automation. The final level. These vehicles are completely automated, and are made without steering wheels and pedals as a result.
4) They are Being Used More Frequently in the Commercial Sector
It seems as if everybody wants to add autonomous vehicles into their logistics systems. USPS recently announced a plan to incorporate the AVs into 28,000 rural routes, while China’s Geely is launching satellites to help guide its vehicles. The uptick in interest is more than coincidence, it shows how there is a greater – larger adoption and shift worldwide to this kind of technology – gaining momentum.
5) They are an Increasingly Popular Choice for Truck Platooning
Truck platooning is when several vehicles travel like a train on the road, keeping a set minimum safety distance between themselves. With autonomous vehicles, owners can link their softwares, creating highly efficient and safe truck platoons.
6) They can Relieve Congestion
Increasingly AVs have been used for last-mile delivery services. So, how does this relieve congestion? The answer is size.
Normally, large delivery vehicles take up around 20% of the road in urban areas. Autonomous vehicles designed for last mile delivery tend to be smaller, reducing the overall road congestion while still delivering the product.
7) They Reduce Human Error
Unfortunately, human error is still a major cause of accidents in the trucking industry. Autonomous vehicles have been shown to reduce errors, as they run completely on software. Additionally, due to their safety records, autonomous vehicles actually have lower insurance rates. All in all, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
There you have it, seven things you need to know about autonomous vehicles! If you found this article helpful, share it with your friends via social media, and make sure to check back biweekly for new, cutting-edge trucking blogs!
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