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Germans would increasingly feel safer with autonomous self-driving trucks on the road

Annett Fischer

Annett Fischer >

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Major Bosch survey for IAA 2018

  • Automated trucks on the road: more than one in three respondents have no preference for a human over a machine.
  • Germans are annoyed by delivery traffic, but don’t want frequent package deliveries to stop.
  • Bosch board of management member Dr. Markus Heyn: “Delivery traffic on Germany’s roads must become safer and more efficient, because it doesn’t affect just logistics companies and retailers, but all road users.”
  • Bosch solutions for commercial vehicles relieve road freight.

Traffic jams, accidents, blocked roads – for many people in Germany, the thought of vans and trucks in traffic leads to just one thing: stress. More and more trucks are flooding the country’s freeways and highways, and this inevitably pushes up the number of serious accidents involving commercial vehicles. One result of this is that Germans would increasingly feel safer with fully automated, driverless trucks on the road. This is the outcome of a survey conducted by Bosch and Innofact AG in the lead-up to the IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover. While almost 40 percent of respondents would rather that trucks have a human driver at the wheel, already more than one in three (37 percent) no longer have a preference for a human over a machine. In fact, one in four respondents would have more confidence in an autonomous truck than in a human driver. For now, driverless trucks are still an unrealized vision. But the survey shows that in Germany, people increasingly favor automated trucks when it comes to safety. The intelligent technology on board such trucks could prevent a large number of accidents: the reality is that nine out of ten accidents are due to human error.

Delivery traffic on Germany’s roads must become safer and more efficient, because it doesn’t affect just logistics companies and retailers, but all road users.

Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Robert Bosch GmbH board of management

Annoyed by delivery traffic

“Delivery traffic on Germany’s roads must become safer and more efficient, because it doesn’t affect just logistics companies and retailers, but all road users,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Robert Bosch GmbH board of management. Bosch has a clear vision: road freight of the future should be not just accident-free, but also ideally as free of emissions and stress as possible – for all road users. At present, most people stuck in traffic find trucks and vans rather annoying. According to 57 percent of respondents, Germans feel particularly unsafe in critical situations involving trucks – for instance, when merging onto the freeway or when a truck is turning. More than one in two (56 percent) believe that there are too many road freight vehicles on the road. Around half of respondents said their biggest complaint is when trucks block traffic while parking. Other annoyances include commercial-vehicle emissions (50 percent) and truck noise (43 percent). Only one in five respondents said that truck traffic didn’t bother them.

Little willingness to compromise

What the survey also highlights is that very few people are willing to do anything themselves to relieve delivery traffic on the road. For instance, three-fourths of Germans (73 percent) don’t want to shop less online. And few of them (49 percent) are willing to compromise by accepting longer waiting times for parcel deliveries as a way to relieve traffic – having parcel delivery just once a week instead of every day. However, one in four respondents (27 percent) did say that they would reduce delivery traffic by returning fewer goods, while 36 percent would have their parcels delivered to a central parcel station or collection point and then pick them up themselves. Paying more for parcels to be delivered – to have, say, more evening deliveries so as to spread traffic throughout the day – is something only 15 percent of respondents would consider.

The survey shows that Germans are highly critical of road freight, both on freeways and in cities. Trucks annoy them. But the fact is that road freight will increase by another 50 percent by 2040 (source: Shell study). That makes it all the more important to tackle pressing challenges such as preventing accidents and relieving road freight. At the 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover, Bosch is showing how this can be achieved: there, the company is presenting solutions for the automation, connectivity, and electrification of commercial vehicles.

Additional information on Bosch technologies for commercial vehicles:

Bosch at the IAA 2018

Delivering the future – Bosch at the IAA 2018

Survey design: For the major study entitled “Commercial vehicles in road traffic” conducted on behalf of Bosch, Innofact AG surveyed 1,068 people throughout Germany between the ages of 18 and 69. The interviews were conducted in August 2018.

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. It generated sales of 46.8 billion euros in 2019, and thus contributed 60 percent of total sales from operations. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector pursues a vision of mobility that is safe, sustainable, and exciting, and combines the group’s expertise in the domains of personalization, automation, electrification, and connectivity. For its customers, the outcome is integrated mobility solutions. The business sector’s main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2019). The company generated sales of 77.7 billion euros in 2019. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs some 72,600 associates in research and development at 126 locations across the globe, as well as roughly 30,000 software engineers.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, www.iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.

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