Plus.ai t takes loaded autonomous semi across the US


On-road progress made without driver intervention, IT firm says

Plus.ai t takes loaded autonomous semi across the US
The Plus.ai International semi on its way

 

Recent US high-tech start-up Plus.ai states it has taken a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 4-controlled commercial semi-trailer load across the country, from California to Pennsylvania.

SAE Level 4 denotes on-board automated driving technology which dispenses with manual intervention, though this is an option.

In this case, a driver was behind the wheel of the International prime mover used by a firm that has a particular artificial-intelligence focus.

Plus.ai is already involved in International parent company Navistar’s autonomous driving tilt, along with tech competitor TruSimple, which counts global logistics and parcel delivery firm UPS as an investor as of August with a view to Level 4 development.

"Plus.ai just announced that we completed the industry's first cross-country commercial freight run in a self-driving truck in a record three days," three-year-old Silicon Valley company Plus.ai says of its pilot project hauling Land O’Lakes butter.

"This continuous cross-country journey was not only an industry first, but also demonstrated the safety, efficiency and maturity of our autonomous system.

"While we already deliver freight for other partners every week, this trip showed how Plus.ai's autonomous truck can safely navigate driving day and night through the Great Plains, winding roads in the Rockies, road construction, long tunnels, over 11,000 feet elevation, and wet and snowy roads.

"Super proud of our team (and our truck) for the perfect execution of this cross-country trip!"


Read how Daimler is tackling automation in the US, here


For heavy-duty trucks, Plus.ai technology relies on 360 degree sensors, including camera, LiDAR, and radar units. Front detection reaches 1,600 meters.

This is said to feed into multimodal sensor fusion, deep-learning visual algorithms and simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM).

"This cross-country freight run with Land O’Lakes shows the safety, efficiency and maturity of our autonomous trucks, which are already delivering freight for other partners several days a week," co-founder Shawn Kerrigan says.

 "Continued advances in our autonomous trucks will make it possible for these quick cross-country runs to be the norm in the future.

"We are excited to demonstrate what our technology can already achieve today while meeting rigorous autonomous driving safety and food transportation compliance standards."

The company has already completed a test run between California and Nevada and three months ago announced a joint-venture deal with huge Chinese heavy truck builder FAW Jiefang to develop autonomous trucks for China – aiming to build up from SAE Level 2 semi-autonomous control.

 

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