The next big thing will be the automation of commercial vehicles. Delivery traffic is increasing and so is the supply. You don’t need to be a psychic to see delivery traffic increase. The Internet business in particular has accelerated this trend. But this requires solutions and they have to find answers to the traffic in the city. But it’s not that easy, but it’s easier to get around on the trunk roads.
TuSimple goes ahead
In the last weeks the Chinese startup TuSimple in particular has made some jumps. The company is active in the USA and was supported by Nvidia, among others. Recently there were rumours that Amazon would buy the startup. Recently, the company received an order from the US postal service. TuSimple has been contracted by this company to transport mail via the Arizona motorway.
While TuSimple already accepts commercial orders with its Level 4 automated trucks, most other industry players are still in test mode. Starsky Robotics has recently expanded its testing to Florida and Mercedes-Benz has founded the Autonomous Technology Group. The company combined a previously planned investment of 500 million euros for Level 4 trucks with an acquired partner of Daimler, Torc Robotics. Although they have already received Level 2 approvals, they want to skip Level 3.
Waymo intensifies efforts
It may be that the success of TuSimple has infected the industry, because even the industry leader Waymo has recently started testing the automation of trucks again. Twitter was used to announce that the autonomous trucks would be tested on the motorway around Phoenix in the US state of Arizona.
The vehicles would have a similar design to the cars and would have two long-distance lidar systems. Since last year, a commercial freight service has been operated for the company’s sister company Waymo. Some studies in recent months have pointed out that the automation of commercial vehicles will take place before the automation of cars. The most recent study of this kind comes from the Fraunhofer Institute, which points out the short breaks and the decreasing costs due to the elimination of the human driver. According to a joint study, the cost factor in particular will lead to the automation of commercial vehicles.
About the author:
David Fluhr is journalist and owner of the digital magazine “Autonomes Fahren & Co”. He is reporting regularly about trends and technologies in the fields Autonomous Driving, HMI, Telematics and Robotics. Link to his site: www.autonomes-fahren.de