Scania’s Autonomous transport solutions is an important contribution to the transition towards safer, more efficient and sustainable transportation. Our solutions have been developed in cooperation with leading technology suppliers, with particular focus on mining and hub-to-hub logistics applications.
The demand for autonomous solutions is increasing, and their commercialisation is expected within the next few years. With new legislative and technological advances, it is expected to have a substantial impact on the industry. Autonomous transportation is now an inevitable shift, and at Scania we are determined to be a significant contributor to the industry's transformation.
A diverse solution
Automation offers dramatic improvements in safety, sustainability and logistical efficiency.
Autonomous trucks will be safer as they programmed to maintain a safe and consistent speed, distance, and lane position. They can be on the roads at times when there is less traffic, without the need for driver pauses. There will also be no risk of tiredness or distractions diverting a self-driving vehicle from its destination, and with the use of advanced sensors and control systems, they are capable of reacting to sudden changes in the road and traffic conditions with precision and speed.
The sustainability benefits are also clear. An automated truck can drive at speeds that optimise the vehicle’s fuel consumption, while also addressing issues of traffic congestion and air pollution by operating at non-peak times on hybrid or fully electric power.
And the efficiency of 24/7 transports taking optimised routes will further improve the cost/profit margins of the always-hard-pressed logistics industry.
Our focus areas
In close cooperation with our customers and leading technology suppliers Scania is continuously developing autonomous transport solutions with particular focus on the mining and Hub-to-Hub segment.
In close collaboration with customers, Scania is developing autonomous solutions to achieve safer and more sustainable mining operations.
Hub to hub
Scania is developing and piloting autonomous hub-to-hub solutions to improve efficiency, reduce operating costs and environmental footprint.
Questions and answers
Here you can find some of the most frequently asked questions about autonomous transport solutions.
Within mining, we are working closely with customers to pilot our autonomous solutions and we are aiming at deploying full scale driverless mining operations within the next couple of years.
For on road, hub-to-hub transportation, we will be expanding our program of safety driver supported autonomous operations during the coming years, working closely with customers and operations partners in order to prepare for driverless operations and understand the needs and value that we can create for our customers. Full scale driverless hub-to-hub operations are expected to be realized in Europe around 2030.
Autonomous trucks have the potential to be safer than regular trucks. Some of the benefits of autonomous trucks include the elimination of human errors, such as fatigue, distraction and substance abuse, which are common causes of accidents. Autonomous trucks have advanced sensors and machine learning algorithms that can detect potential hazards on the road and respond quickly, more accurately than humans. However, like any new technology, there may be unforeseen problems that could cause accidents and therefore, with safety as our main priority, we will continue to drive lots of km’s to show that the system is able to handle all of the situations that it encounters before we go fully driverless.
The shift to autonomous transport will not happen overnight, in every segment. Also, in several parts of the world, including Europe, there is a significant driver shortage, causing delays in shipments and rising transportation costs. This trend is expected to increase over the foreseeable future and therefore we will rather see autonomous trucks countering the growing shortage of drivers worldwide.
Yes, in principle as long as it fulfils the preconditions and limitations stipulated by the responsible authority. But to actually start operations requires careful planning. Before we open up for autonomous trucks, the route must be surveyed in detail.
Together with Australian mining group Rio Tinto, we have been testing self-driving trucks since 2018. In April 2022 we launched new trials in Rio Tinto's Channar mine on our 40-tonne-payload autonomous mining trucks and quickly reached a key milestone of driverless operation in a typical load and haul cycle environment.
In February 2021, Scania was the first European OEM to operate an L4 vehicle on public roads in Sweden and since May 2022, we were granted permission from the Swedish transport authority to expand our testing route for autonomous driving.
In September 2022, Scania and transport company HAVI launched the first European pilot of fully autonomous vehicles carrying commercial goods on public roads.
We have high ambitions for the area and we will continue to focus on technology development together with our partners, as well as running commercial pilots together with customers to get a good understanding of their needs. For the mining segment, we are aiming at deploying full scale driverless operations within the next couple of years.
For hub-to-hub transport, autonomous driving without a safety driver on public roads requires proving to traffic authorities that it is safe. The best way to do this is still undecided and will likely involve driving many kilometers to demonstrate the system's ability to handle all situations. There is yet no consensus or EU-wide legislation on the requirements. Additionally, developing a truck with safety-critical components meeting redundancy standards is also necessary. Finally, integrating the technology into logistics networks and utilizing existing infrastructure will be crucial for easy deployment of autonomous operations by customers.
Efficient infrastructure is crucial for us and the industry as a whole and we want to keep the infrastructure requirements to an absolute minimum. Expensive upgrades often burden stakeholders with no direct benefit and can complicate safety measures. Our vehicles operate without external help, apart from reliable GPS and a low-band cellular connection for commands and reporting. Our customers will only need minor adjustments to arrival areas and IT equipment for vehicle management.
This depends a lot on the development of technical capabilities, but experts within our parent company TRATON have estimated that in 2026, 78 billion km’s of road transport will be suitable and addressable for autonomous driving.
This kind of calculation is quite difficult to make autonomous transport is less about the truck and more about the system which it is being used within. The main benefit with autonomy is that you are no longer trying to optimise the utilisation against the driver, so it’s much easier to make a 10-20 % increase in productivity without creating a disproportionate extra cost. And of course, these vehicles can operate 24/7 without breaks if the logistics planning allows for that. On top of that, autonomous trucks can travel at a constant speed and optimize their routes, which reduces fuel consumption and emissions. With real-time traffic data, they can also navigate to avoid congestion and minimise the time spent idling in traffic.
We are working with the authorities to understand how the liability will be handled. The liability is likely to be split a few ways, to the ground operator in preparing the vehicle for departure, to the control room who is monitoring the transport, and of course to us as the “driver” of the vehicle.
Yes, the vehicles will cost more, the exact price is hard to estimate, but likely 1,5-2 times the price of the vehicle today. And there will be additional operational costs with software licenses and the extra manpower to manage and monitor the vehicles. But with the driver today being such a significant cost and productivity restriction, there is still a compelling business case. The additional costs are either fixed or scale very well, so the best case for autonomous driving is when it is done at scale and with high vehicle utilisation.