There are great hopes for autonomous vehicles – though some worry about whether the technology is ‘up to the job’. There are some driving situations and conditions where autonomy is relatively easy and others (driving in busy high streets for example) where problems are greater and the autonomy mire difficult to achieve.

Goods vehicles, though, can exploit these differences.

Future goods carriers could operate autonomously on freeways and motorways where the technology can do its job relatively easily, and then switch to driver control for the ‘local loop’. This can avoid the problem of excessive driver hours but maintain current levels of performance.

The problem is that the word ‘autonomy’ tends to be a ‘one size fits all’ concept with few thinking through practical and flexible approaches to autonomous driving and improved productivity.