In English

Future dynamics of the Swedish heavy-duty truck industry -Scenarios for the adoption of autonomous, connected and electrified trucks by 2030

Erik Sidbrant ; Ludvig Börjesson
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2018. 125 s. Master thesis. E - Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden, 2018.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

It is possible that the heavy-duty truck industry will be subject to considerable industrial transformation during the next decades. The significant increase of road transports has entailed new challenges, which need to be addressed in order to ensure a continuous economic growth that is consistent with a sustainable development. The most prominent challenges concern aspects such as increasing emissions of greenhouse gases, traffic safety and shortage of truck drivers. As a response to these challenges, and due to other potential benefits, the technological areas of autonomy, connectivity and electrification is about to be adopted by the heavy-duty truck industry. However, due to a number of reasons, the future diffusion of these technologies is uncertain. Hence, the focus of this study has been to increase the understanding of how these technological areas may develop until the year of 2030. In addition, the study has aimed to increase the understanding of how this development is expected to influence the industry dynamics as well as the value chain structure of the Swedish heavy-duty truck industry. With the unique situation of hosting two global incumbent truck manufacturers, and at the same time being known for an ambitious political stance towards a sustainable development, the Swedish industry has the potential to impact this industrial transformation in a favorable way. The study has been conducted as a scenario planning, where scenarios for the technical development of the heavy-duty truck industry were developed to help explore possible impacts on the industry dynamics and value chain. The developed scenarios were based on the information collected during 21 interviews with organizations surrounding the heavy-duty truck industry, focusing on the technological areas of autonomy, connectivity and electrification. Furthermore, nine additional interviews were performed with industry actors that are a part of the industry value chain. For these interviews, the developed scenarios were used as a base for discussion. By relating to the contexts of the specific scenarios, the interviewees were asked to elaborate on expected changes of the industry dynamics as well as the structure of the industry value chain. The scenario planning resulted in four different scenarios, for which the development and adoption of the technological areas of autonomy, connectivity and electrification differed. The key uncertainties that are constituting the reason for why these scenarios differ are related to the political approach to data utilization, as well as the industry perspective on dominant future fuel for heavy-duty trucks. The future political approach to data utilization could range from more conservative to liberal, while the dominant future fuel could be either sustainable alternatives to the internal combustion engine or electricity. The most significant change of the industry dynamics and the industry value chain is expected for a situation with a liberal political approach to data utilization and where electricity is becoming the dominant fuel. Such a situation would lead to both forward and backward integration, as well as disruption of incumbent actors and entrants of new players.