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Autonomous Trains in Freight Transport: Should the Railway not have the Advantage over the Trucks?

Müller, Stephan (2020) Autonomous Trains in Freight Transport: Should the Railway not have the Advantage over the Trucks? WITpress. COMPRAIL 2020, 1.-3. Juli 2020, Berlin, Germany. doi: 10.2495/CR200011. ISSN 1743-3509.

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Official URL: https://www.witpress.com/elibrary/wit-transactions-on-the-built-environment/199/37674


Should the automation of trains not be easier than the automation of trucks? This paper analyses the structural barriers to innovation of “autonomous freight trains” for large-scale deployment. Four theoretical effects are analysed that characterize the mechanism for innovation activities in advanced markets: (1) the hierarchical and nested architecture of value networks; (2) path dependency in technological paradigms; (3) organizational dynamics; and (4) the stalemate in technology. These four effects culminate, and the higher the maturity level of the four effects is, the more they limit innovation activities. The analysis shows that the economic mechanism strongly limits innovation activity for rail freight transport in general and also in relation to autonomous train operation. For road freight transport, the degree of maturity is less given and thus the truck is at an advantage, although the complexity of train automation in general is less than that of truck automation. The results contribute to the challenge of train automation and are worth considering in a strategic innovation policy for rail.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/136112/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Title:Autonomous Trains in Freight Transport: Should the Railway not have the Advantage over the Trucks?
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Müller, StephanStephan.Mueller (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
DOI :10.2495/CR200011
Page Range:pp. 3-14
Series Name:Computers in Railways XVII
Keywords:autonomous trains, automated vehicles, rail freight services, innovation in freight transport, RioTinto, AutoHaul
Event Title:COMPRAIL 2020
Event Location:Berlin, Germany
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:1.-3. Juli 2020
Organizer:WIT - Wessex Institute of Technology
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Transport
HGF - Program Themes:Transport System
DLR - Research area:Transport
DLR - Program:V VS - Verkehrssystem
DLR - Research theme (Project):V - Transition
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Transport Research
Deposited By: Müller, Stephan
Deposited On:28 Oct 2020 22:59
Last Modified:28 Oct 2020 22:59

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