Locomation technology could eventually allow one driver to control two trucks. - Illustration: Locomation

Locomation technology could eventually allow one driver to control two trucks.

Illustration: Locomation

Locomation announced it will leverage an autonomous vehicle computing platform from Nvidia for the commercialization of self-driving trucks starting in 2022.

Locomation’s first commercial product in a series of planned product rollouts is Autonomous Relay Convoy. ARC allows one driver to pilot a lead truck equipped with technology augmentation while a fully autonomous follower truck operates in tandem. It is the first autonomous driving approach headed for direct commercialization through a recent agreement with Wilson Logistics, according to the announcement from Locomation. Under the terms of the deal, Wilson Logistics will begin to take delivery of 1,120 Locomation-equipped truck cabs starting in 2022.

In a recent eight-day pilot program, two Locomation trucks hauling Wilson Logistics trailers and freight were deployed as an Autonomous Relay Convoy on a 420-mile-long route from Portland, Oregon, to Nampa, Idaho. 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.

Iif the ARC concept proves itself, "There will probably be a time when the driver in the rear truck can be off duty, and when the front driver runs out of hours they swap spots," Darrel Wilson, founder and CEO of Wilson Logistics and an HDT Truck Fleet Innovator, told HDT in an interview for the HDT Talks Trucking podcast.

“We’re moving rapidly toward autonomous trucking commercialization, and Nvidia Drive presents an intriguing solution for providing a robust, safety-forward platform for our team to work with,” said Çetin Meriçli, CEO and co-founder of Locomation. “This has the potential to enhance our process significantly and we look forward to working closely with the Nvidia team.”

Locomotion’s trucks will use Nvidia Drive AGX Orin, a highly advanced software-defined platform for autonomous vehicles. The system features the new Orin system-on-a-chip (SoC), which delivers more than 200 trillion operations per second—nearly 7x the performance of Nvidia’s previous generation Xavier SoC.

“As demand for goods continues to rise, so has the need to transport these goods as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Rishi Dhall, Nvidia vice president of autonomous vehicles. “Locomation’s unique, commercialization-focused development efforts in autonomous trucking, backed by the high performance of the Nvidia Orin AV processor, will help improve safety and quality of life for truckers and improve overall cost efficiency.”

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