In interview with the brand new digital title for IoT in Automotive, Fleet Management and Logistics – Transport360 – Sean Riley, Global Manufacturing and Transportation Industry director, Software AG talks to Editor, Jeremy Cowan about the wide range of possibilities and problems facing the transport sector as it deploys the available new technologies.
Transport 360: Autonomous vehicles are clearly going to be a key part of logistics in the future. Which are the greatest hurdles to overcome first; the technical, regulatory or public opinion issues? And why? How long do you envisage this taking?
Sean Riley: The first hurdle to overcome will be the technical viability of autonomous vehicles. While efforts have been made for several years to bring this to fruition, the technology still requires a significant amount of investment.
This investment will be focused on ensuring functionality from a safety perspective, as well as focused on driving down the costs of the technology and hardware needed to support the systems. Ensuring that the costs are acceptable to the logistics industry will enable an easier path to adoption of the technology.
Secondly, the regulatory and public opinion hurdles will have to be addressed in parallel and will be a much more difficult and longer process to overcome. This will be impacted by various transportation unions and trade groups pressing to delay or not allow autonomous vehicles at all, and could stifle the entire initiative. By focusing on cost, viability and safety during the development and trial process, the regulatory approval process will be eased, but significant challenges from interest groups will still be a long-term issue to resolve.
A third area that will impact this that doesn’t get discussed frequently is liability insurance. Insurance models will have to be significantly adjusted to compensate for an autonomous vehicle. While this seems like an issue that will be worked out, how does an insurance provider gauge the effectiveness of code, the impacts of product updates and the setting of baseline liability rates? This is also an issue that can be overcome, but it won’t be completed without a degree of focus.
Click to read the full interview with Transport 360, here >