Autonomous driving technologies
are determining the future of the trucking industry. While the first tests for self-driving trucks under real conditions are underway, the entire absence of the driver is still far in the future. Using data from the specialist magazine Lastauto Omnibus, a study
suggests that by 2025, fleet owners could reduce their total costs by 15 percent compared to 2016 and even 28 percent beyond that year (considering the current annual operating costs of €115,600 for an average long-haul truck).
While fixed costs (such as gasoline) and variable costs (including tax, rates for cleaning, communication and testing costs) would be reduced by a mere 7 percent respectively, the highest potential for saving lies with the cost of a driver. Accordingly, autonomous driving technologies are likely to reduce annual costs of a driver by staggering 30 percent by 2025 – an incentive that makes self-driving trucks a hot prospect for freight companies. However, from the perspective of drivers employed at freight companies this is bad news: Goldman Sachs estimated that the new technology could eliminate 25,000 driver jobs
a month or 300,000 per year about 25 years from now.