Autonomous Vehicles in Intermodal Transportation



Brendan Dugan, Ports and Terminals Practice Leader, GLDPartners


The advent of autonomous freight delivery vehicles is emerging as a huge topic in transport logistics worldwide. The idea of more precision and automation in freight movement is attractive to the industry, and in some regards, will reshape the structure of some logistics systems. In the United States, there are two key developments that are accelerati ng the need for this innovation, especially as they relate to road transport:

1. The increasing driver shortage in an improving economy: There is an aging truck driver populati on at a ti me when economic opportuniti es are better in other industry sectors that don’t have the challenging away from home burden requirement for overnight travel

2. US federal regulati ons: These restrict driving hours for safety reasons because of the expanded requirements for Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) that accurately record driver working hours to comply with US safety standards 

Both of the above developments are shrinking driver supply at a time when…

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