Impact of automated driving systems on road freight transport and electrified propulsion of heavy vehicles
Journal article, 2020

The technological barriers to automated driving systems (ADS) are being quickly overcome to deploy on–road vehicles that do not require a human driver on–board. ADS have opened up possibilities to improve mobility, productivity, logistics planning, and energy consumption. However, further enhancements in productivity and energy consumption are required to reach CO2–reduction goals, owing to increased demands on transportation. In particular, in the freight sector, incorporation of automation with electrification can meet necessities of sustainable transport. However, the profitability of battery electric heavy vehicles (BEHVs) remains a concern. This study found that ADS led to profitability of BEHVs, which remained profitable for increased travel ranges by a factor of four compared to that of BEHVs driven by humans. Up to 20% reduction in the total cost of ownership of BEHVs equipped with ADS could be achieved by optimizing the electric propulsion system along with the infrastructure for a given transportation task. In that case, the optimized propulsion system might not be similar to that of a BEHV with a human driver. To obtain the results, the total cost of ownership was minimized numerically for 3072 different transportation scenarios that showed the effects of travel distance, road hilliness, average reference speed, and vehicle size on the incorporated electrification and automation, and compared to that of conventional combustion–powered heavy vehicles.

Electrified propulsion



Automated driving systems

Heavy vehicles


Toheed Ghandriz

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Vehicle Engineering and Autonomous Systems

Bengt J H Jacobson

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Vehicle Engineering and Autonomous Systems

Leo Laine

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2)

Volvo Cars

Jonas Hellgren

Volvo Group

Transportation Research, Part C: Emerging Technologies

0968-090X (ISSN)

Vol. 115 102610

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Using i-dolly for local distribution of container trailers to logistic terminals from a dry port

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Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance



Subject Categories

Transport Systems and Logistics

Vehicle Engineering

Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work



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