IVECO boss allays fears of driverless trucks


IVECO’s commercial director Gerrit Marx has criticised the industry for talking about driverless trucks, describing the use of term as irresponsible, as it acts as a deterrent to new drivers.

“We shouldn’t scare them with science fiction stories,” he said. “In reality fully robotised trucks on public roads are still several decades away.”

However, Marx went on to say that level 5 fully autonomous trucks operating in controlled environments and carrying out repetitive task, are a reality. 

“But we will still need truck drivers for a very long time to come,” he said. 

Einride autonomous on-road trials extend

Progress towards the use of driverless trucks on public roads has taken another step forward as another Einride vehicle begins small-scale operator trials.

Following the commencement of trials by DB Schenker at its site in Jönköping, Sweden, this time the operator is Lidl Sweden. As part of a local innovation day in the city of Kista, north-west of Stockholm, it carried goods on a short journey from an Ericsson site to a Lidl pop-up store nearby.

Both trials have initially been at low speed and closely monitored, although the ambulance pictured was part of a separate demonstration. More extensive trials by the Swedish autonomous truck manufacturer are expected as the country has introduced a new permit system for driverless operations.

The next major operator expected to test the product is Michelin, which is due to begin on-site trials at Clermont-Ferrand early next year, followed by inter-site operations on public roads, subject to French government approval.