Challenges and potential business applications of Automated Delivery Vehicle initiatives - a brief overview

This report addresses some of the driving forces behind the development of Automated Delivery Vehicles, (ADV), e.g. increased urbanization, increased e-commerce, demands for efficient transport and the demands to meet climate goals, national as well as international. There are also challenges for ADVs to operate on a commercial scale. On the one hand, the technology (sensors and software) is not ready to have driverless vehicles operating in public spaces (some ADVs can drive in limited areas under supervision by so-called safety drivers), and on the other hand, the freight volumes are relatively small. The logistics chain also requires manual work. In addition, manually operated transports can deliver packages door-to-door, which ADVs cannot. Since ADVs are driverless, there is the potential to reduce wage costs, but the drivers do more than just driving the vehicle. The drivers handle complex traffic situations, and deliver the packages all the way to the addressees, certifying, having the dialogue with customers, etc. For many companies, the drivers are key in maintaining the relations with their customers. The report lists eight different ADV concepts around the world. The report also addresses some potential use cases for ADVs, as well as the business challenges with ADVs. The basis has been a couple of workshops with stakeholders of ADVs, as well as interviews with representatives of three possible application areas for ADVs in Sweden: airports, food deliveries and deliveries and smaller packages. At airports, for example, ADVs could transport luggage, but also goods from suppliers of food and materials. For suppliers of smaller packages, ADVs could carry out certain transports, and for food deliveries, ADVs could contribute to more and faster home deliveries. The need for transports in urban areas will increase, which suggests that ADVs could play an important role in last-mile/last-mile deliveries. Companies such as Google, Amazon, Nvidia and Apple are investing in the development of ADVs, but there are still technical, legal and market related challenges be handled.

Gonzales, S., Sveder, C., Oscarsson, E., Jönsson, S.
Research area
Road user behaviour
Publication type
Project report
Year of publication