Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Matias Enz, PhD


Ray Mundy, PhD

Daniel Rust, PhD

Jill Bernard Bracy, PhD


Autonomous vehicles have the potential to revolutionize the transportation industry. The segment of truck transportation is no exception. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to improve trucking safety, to increase shipping velocity, and to decrease costs. Additionally, autonomous trucks could be an important tool to help alleviate the ongoing driver shortage that the trucking industry is contending with.

Autonomous truck adoption is not guaranteed. Transportation equipment decisions are market-based, and autonomous trucks must present a compelling business case to transportation professionals. As such, it is imperative to understand the decision-making factors that drive transportation solution adoption, and how autonomous trucks could take advantage of those factors to be a competitive force in the transportation marketplace. It is also important to understand the potential effects that autonomous trucks could have on industry as well, so that companies can develop contingency plans to deal with these effects.

This study uses Grounded Theory to analyze semi-structured interviews with twelve professionals from the transportation industry. A conceptual model detailing major factors that affect transportation decisions and propositions about autonomous trucks' effects on industry are presented, along with a discussion. The dissertation concludes with an identification of avenues of future research to further the information uncovered in this study, and to address its limitations.