The global trucking industry is estimated to be worth around £600bn annually, equivalent to $700bn in the US, where truck driving is the number one occupation in no fewer than 29 states. In addition, the sector has emerged as the key battleground in the development of automated driving.

Engineers’ initial efforts focused on the quest to build commercially viable driverless automobiles, but in the last year there has been a move toward the commercial vehicle sector. This shift can be seen in several key partnerships that have been signed between tech startups and the world’s largest truck manufacturers.

Waymo, often seen as the leader in driverless technology, has partnered with Daimler, the world’s largest truck manufacturer. Meanwhile, TuSimple is teaming up with Traton, a subsidiary of Volvo, whilst Aurora - which is backed by Amazon and has recently acquired all of Uber’s self-driving tech - has joined forces with Volvo and Paccar.

In many ways, trucks...