Toll-road operator Transurban is using Silicon Valley autonomous truck experience to develop its trial program
Toll-road operator Transurban has developed its autonomous truck ambitions after announcing a partnership with global Silicon Valley-based autonomous driving software company Plus.
The partnership is aimed at advancing Transurban’s automated freight program and to take advantage of the resources and talent available in Victoria.
Transurban says the partnership will build on the success of Transurban’s first self-driving truck trial on CityLink and the Monash Freeway last year to explore how Plus’s Level 4 autonomous driving technology, combined with smart road infrastructure, could help make trucking safer, more efficient and more sustainable in Australia.
Transurban aims to use Plus’s knowledge to leverage itself to be an international leader in the automated truck space from Victoria.
Transurban’s automated vehicle program started in 2017, with the toll operator working with governments and industry to roll out 11 successful trials of fully and partially automated vehicles on Australian and American motorways.
The CityLink trial last year was the first time in Australia that a highly automated self-driving truck was tested in live traffic conditions on public motorways.
Transurban CEO Scott Charlton says the partnership will support long-term opportunities for automated freight, including potential benefits to reduce congestion and improve road safety and traffic flow.
“This is a continuation of our work in this area,” Charlton says.
“Automated transport technologies are going to transform the way we move goods around cities and with vital connections between ports and other freight hubs, our roads offer ideal conditions to facilitate this new technology.”
The partnership between Transurban and Plus will leverage Plus’s state-of-the-art autonomous driving software and global commercial deployment experience, which includes the cooperation with IVECO, the global commercial vehicle brand of Iveco Group, to co-develop self-driving trucks for Europe.
Highly automated trucks enabled by Plus’s technology are already delivering freight in the U.S. for world-class fleets and being tested on public roads in Germany with IVECO.
“At Plus, we have seen first-hand through our global deployments the transformational impact that our autonomous driving solutions can have on transportation to improve safety, efficiency and sustainability,” Plus COO and co-founder Shawn Kerrigan says.
“We are delighted to partner with Transurban to drive autonomous trucking development in Australia to the next level, and show the benefits in road safety and operational efficiency delivered by a collaboration between the world’s most advanced autonomous driving software and smart infrastructure provider.”