Scania's Customer-Centric Approach to Autonomous Trucking - The Road to Autonomy

Scania’s Customer-Centric Approach to Autonomous Trucking

Peter Hafmar, Vice President & Head of Autonomous Solutions, Scania (part of the TRATON Group) joined Grayson Brulte on The Road to Autonomy podcast to discuss Scania’s customer-centric approach to autonomous trucking and their partnership with Plus.

The conversation begins with Peter discussing Scania’s autonomy efforts and the four core principles of their approach:

  1. Focusing on the customer journey perspective.
  2. Concentrating on long-haul transport and confined mining applications.
  3. Maintaining control over their systems through strategic partnerships.
  4. Coordinating efforts across TRATON’s brands.

Strategic partnerships are key to the development and commercialization of autonomous trucks. TRATON recently announced a partnership with Plus for the development and commercialization of SAE Level 4 autonomous trucks. The cultural fit and shared values between the two companies were one of the critical factors in the deal coming to fruition.

Even with the Plus partnership, Scania intends to continue developing its own autonomous driving technologies in parallel.

If we don’t understand the product, we will not be a good partner for Plus or anyone else either.

– Peter Hafmar, Vice President & Head of Autonomous Solutions, Scania

This dual-track approach allows Scania to maintain deep technical expertise in autonomous driving.

When it comes to commercializing autonomous trucking solutions, Peter details Scania’s “driver-as-a-service” model. Rather than competing directly with customers for transportation services, Scania aims to integrate autonomous driving into their existing operational systems and workflows seamlessly.

The initial autonomous lanes will be determined entirely by customer needs and existing transportation routes. These lanes will most likely be long-haul routes due to the economics and acute driver shortages.

Throughout the discussion, Peter underscores that partnerships, culture fit, and shared values are critical for scaling autonomous trucks successfully.

It’s easy to forget about culture and values when you talk about technology, because it is essential that technology works, but it’s actually people that are developing everything behind.

– Peter Hafmar, Vice President & Head of Autonomous Solutions, Scania

Wrapping up the conversation, Peter reaffirms Scania’s customer-first philosophy as the driving force behind their autonomous pursuits, ensuring solutions that unlock tangible value for their transportation partners.

Recorded on Tuesday March 19, 2024

Episode Chapters

  • 0:11 Scania’s Approach to Autonomous Trucking
  • 5:33 Scania’s Autonomous Trucking Commercialization Strategy 
  • 8:18 Autonomous Solutions for Minning
  • 11:02 Driver-as-a-Service Lanes 
  • 13:45 Plus / TRATON Partnership
  • 16:06 Scania’s History in Autonomous Trucks
  • 18:10 Customer Approach to Autonomy
  • 21:44 E.U. Autonomous Trucking Policy
  • 23:09 Rolling out Autonomous Trucks in the U.S. and E.U.
  • 26:34 Key Takeaways

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