Autonomous road transport in the Netherlands will be extremely profitable from 2037 onwards

For the IMIAT research project, ACE Mobility commissioned an external study on the opportunities for autonomous road freight transport. It shows that autonomous freight transport is extremely profitable from 2037 onwards. Click on the link below for more information about IMIAT.

Self-driving freight traffic is socially very attractive
Capgemini Invent has carried out an SCBA (Social Cost and Benefit Analysis) on behalf of ACE Mobility. This research emphasizes three basic principles: finance, emissions and road safety.

The investment costs for autonomous freight transport amount to 6.5 billion, for imports into the Netherlands, and mainly concern the adaptation of infrastructure and the development of highly automated trucks in the first 10 years of the SCBA. Also the data network of the infrastructure that needs to be maintained for cybersecurity, road maintenance and personnel require investments. The benefits are clear: trucks can drive more hours, empty returns can be greatly reduced, and more transport capacity can be delivered with the same staff. At the same time, this is a solution to the shortage of truck drivers. From 2037 onwards, based on these data, autonomous freight transport is profitable. The profit for companies increases as the number of autonomous vehicles increases each year.

Emissions (CO2, NOx)
In the calculation of the emission reduction, only freight transport by road is assumed and other traffic is not taken into account. Allowing trucks to drive autonomously results in a significant reduction in emissions of both CO2 (0.7 billion kilos per year) and NOx (21.6 million kilos per year) and therefore contributes to both a better climate and a better environment. This is incidentally separate from the reduction achieved by electric propulsion of trucks. This calculation is based solely on removing part of the inefficiency of energy consumption by a single vehicle.

Road safety
The Dutch government has expressed the ambition to have zero traffic casualties by 2050, making road safety an important objective. Autonomous vehicles contribute significantly to this goal by reducing the number of human errors, the cause of 95% of accidents. Out of a total of ~430,000 traffic accidents, 21,550 people are injured and 670 killed each year in the Netherlands. Allowing trucks to drive autonomously would reduce the number of injured and fatal traffic accidents. Because accidents with trucks cause a disproportionate number of victims, the positive impact of autonomous trucks is greater and this results in a 6.2% reduction in the number of injuries and the number of deaths in traffic.

More information about the report is available via ACE Mobility. An interview with the project leader Jeroen van der Werf and with participating partners on parts of the project is possible. Please contact C. Legdeur ( or G. Tijssen (