Germans would increasingly feel safer with autonomous self-driving trucks on the road
A survey conducted by Bosch and Innofact AG in the lead-up to the IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover found that that Germans would increasingly feel safer with fully automated, driverless trucks on the road. While almost 40% of respondents would rather that trucks have a human driver at the wheel, already more than one in three (37%) no longer prefer a human over a machine. In fact, one in four respondents would have more confidence in an autonomous truck than in a human driver.
“Delivery traffic on Germany’s roads must become safer and more efficient, because it doesn’t affect just logistics companies and retailers, but all road users,” said Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Robert Bosch GmbH board of management.
At present, most people stuck in traffic find trucks and vans annoying. According to 57% of respondents, Germans feel particularly unsafe in critical situations involving trucks—for instance, when merging onto the freeway or when a truck is turning. More than one in two (56%) believe that there are too many road freight vehicles on the road. Around half of respondents said their biggest complaint is when trucks block traffic while parking. Other annoyances include commercial-vehicle emissions (50%) and truck noise (43%). Only one in five respondents said that truck traffic did not bother them.
The survey also highlights that very few people are willing to do anything themselves to relieve delivery traffic on the road. For instance, three-fourths of Germans (73%) do not want to shop less online. Also, few of them (49%) are willing to compromise by accepting longer waiting times for parcel deliveries as a way to relieve traffic—having parcel delivery just once a week instead of every day. However, one in four respondents (27%) did say that they would reduce delivery traffic by returning fewer goods, while 36% would have their parcels delivered to a central parcel station or collection point and then pick them up themselves. Paying more for parcels to be delivered—to have, say, more evening deliveries so as to spread traffic throughout the day—is something only 15% of respondents would consider.
The survey shows that Germans are highly critical of road freight, both on freeways and in cities. Trucks annoy them. But the fact is that road freight will increase by another 50% by 2040 according to a recent study by Shell.