Automated delivery vehicles - what kind of vehicles are they and does it matter?, RISE report 2022:100
Autonomous delivery vehicles – what kind of vehicles are they and does it matter? The project GLAD – Goods deliveries during the last mile of self-driving vehicles explores how tomorrow's small autonomous delivery vehicles (ADV) could operate in the transport system. The goal of the GLAD project is to develop knowledge about the needs and challenges of such vehicles in Sweden before they are in real operation. In the project, there are several work packages that work with different challenges in relation to ADV. To explore these issues, the project has developed a prototype of an ADV, which is based on a vehicle which today is classified as a three-wheeled moped. But designed as an ADV it could be a different kind of vehicle. One result from one of the work packages in the project is that ADVs driving on public roads should maintain the same speed as other traffic to avoid critical traffic situations. This means that ADVs should be able to drive at a maximum speed of 70 km/h. Another requirement is that the ADVs should be able of carrying a load of 500 kg. These requirements are a conclusion from interviews with drivers of small manually driven delivery vehicles about how they experience today's traffic situations, from which type of road they use and how they use their vehicles. The purpose of this report is to identify obstacles and opportunities from a regulatory perspective to implement ADVs in Sweden in a safe way. Rules that may affect the development of ADVs are, for example, whether they are covered by the Machinery Directive or whether they should be type approved. Other rules concern license plates, motor liability insurance, where the vehicles may be driven and driving license requirements. The aim of the legislations is to create a safe vehicle to use. After a review of existing regulations, it is closest at hand that future ADVs, based on the requirements set in the project, are classified as a 4-wheel heavy motorcycle for the transport of goods. The vehicle also needs a type-approval. It can be argued that an ADV with that weight and speed will have a lot to prove from a safety perspective in a type-approval process and that a market introduction is therefore further away in time. If the speed requirements are lowered instead i.e., maximum of 30 km/h, it could be classified as a motor tool. The advantage of motor tools is that these must be CE-marked by the manufacturer, which in turn means that they have a shorter time to market because the process does not involve a type-approval agency.