Stevens Trucking to equip present fleet with autonomous know-how

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Dive Temporary:

  • Autonomous tech firm Locomation reached an eight-year settlement with Oklahoma-based Stevens Trucking to equip as much as 500 vans with self-driving capabilities, in line with an Aug. 30 information launch.
  • The regional trucking firm primarily operates in Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. Cole Stevens, vp of gross sales, advised Transport Dive that the enterprise plans to make use of the know-how on six lane segments, centered on I-40, I-35 and I-44.
  • Stevens mentioned the know-how might permit the corporate to haul twice the cargo and improve driver pay from the generated financial savings. The tech can be deployed over a five-year span, creating about 250 tethered pairs involving a driver-operated truck and autonomous truck.

Dive Perception:

Whereas firms are racing towards commercializing totally autonomous trucking, Locomation is in search of to take an middleman step and equip present vans with the know-how.

“Dock-to-dock autonomy may be very far off,” Stevens mentioned. “You’re speaking about a complete ecosystem that needs to be created.”

Equipping present vans with autonomous know-how permits Stevens Trucking to see the advantages — and anticipated price financial savings — sooner.

“We selected Locomation as a result of we’re satisfied they’re bringing to market the most secure and most viable turnkey mannequin to allow us to deploy autonomous know-how within the close to time period,” CEO Kenney Stevens mentioned within the information launch.

Different firms have already got partnerships with Locomation. They embrace Christenson Transportation, PGT Trucking and Wilson Logistics, which re-signed a 2020 settlement after promoting a part of its western operations in December 2021.

Beneath Locomotion’s mannequin, one driver function the lead truck whereas a second driver rests within the follower truck. The 2 vans are electronically tethered and permit carriers to securely function two vans for 20-22 hours per day, the corporate mentioned in its launch.

Nick Geale, vp of workforce and labor coverage for the American Trucking Associations, voiced help for this sort of relay mannequin whereas speaking at a North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority committee assembly on June 21.

Geale mentioned he does “not anticipate that automated know-how can be deployed large-scale on this nation” within the close to time period. However amongst these restricted makes use of, he urged {that a} tandem truck driving together with a human-operated truck would possibly happen in a few years.

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