Driverless haulage vehicles could save industry £34 billion in 10 years

The advent of automated or driverless haulage and logistics vehicles is set to bring significant economy-wide business and consumer advantages, including nearly £34 billion in savings to the haulage industry, a new AXA UK study has found.

Driverless technology can provide anticipated cost savings across labour, fuel, insurance and vehicle utilisation, which could bring an estimated £33.6 billion - going to as high as £47.5 billion - of savings after 10 years, according to the report The Future of Driverless Haulage.

Moreover, the study found that when the cost savings were passed onto consumers, this would equate to over half of a person's weekly retail expenditure or almost one and a half weeks' worth of groceries.

"The results confirmed our suspicion that automated freight will not only be much more efficient and make the roads safer for other users, it will also reduce the prices of the end products that we all buy," AXA UK Head of Underwriting David Williams said.

"Autonomous vehicles can help reduce the needless number of lives lost through road traffic accidents caused by human error and assist in driving down fuel costs and consumption.

"HGVs alone were involved in 6,000 road accidents in 2013, comprising a total of 8,448 casualties, 258 of which were fatalities," he added.