Trucking Company to Soon Equip 1,120 Trucks With Autonomous Platooning Technology
Pittsburgh, PA – Springfield, MO-based Wilson Logistics has expanded its partnership with autonomous technology maker, Locomation, and placed what is being called the “world’s first large-scale autonomous truck order.”
In an announcement on Thursday, Locomation indicated Wilson Logistics recently placed a purchase order to begin equipping 1,120 of its trucks with Autonomous Relay Convoy (ARC) technology as soon as 2022.
Locomation bills itself as the world’s first trucking technology platform to offer human-guided autonomous convoying.
According to Locomation, ARC allows one driver to pilot a lead truck equipped with technology augmentation while a follower truck operates in tandem through Locomation’s fully autonomous system.
Locomation’s says it’s ARC technology allows the follower driver to “log off and rest” during this time.
The two companies entered into a three-year partnership agreement in March of this year.
The ultimate goal of the partnership is to ramp up deployment to more than 1,000 two-truck convoys representing more than 2,000 ARC-equipped trucks operating on more than 68 routes nationwide.
The two companies have now extended their partnership through 2028.
In August, Wilson Logistics announced it had completed its first trial with ARC-equipped trucks.
In its first test, Wilson Logistics said it completed an eight-day platooning pilot along a 420-mile route on Interstate 84 between Portland, OR and Nampa, ID.
CEO of Wilson Logistics, Darrel Wilson, said a driver and a safety engineer were on-board each truck for the entirety of the pilot which covered about 3,400 miles and completed 14 deliveries.
The safety engineers measured dozens of key performance indicators (KPIs) in order to collect data that Locomation hopes will help it refine its technology.
Further, Locomation indicated driverless functions were engaged for roughly half of the time the trucks were in operation.
The drivers disengaged the ARC system while parking and operating through construction zones, Wilson indicated.
Currently, commercial platooning is approved in 27 U.S. states.
However, many trucking industry stakeholders have complained about the complex patchwork of state laws regulating autonomous vehicle (AV) deployment and testing.
Groups such as the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) are urging federal lawmakers to pass legislation in order to provide a consistent regulatory framework state-to-state.