Plus and Cummins have announced a joint initiative to develop the industry’s first driver supervised autonomous trucks powered by natural gas in 2022.
Cummins will provide the compressed natural gas engines, which have been certified to near zero emissions and reduce smog-forming emissions by 90% compared to current EPA standards for nitrogen oxide air pollutants, Cummins officials said in a press release.
The trucks will be integrated with the Plus (formerly Plus.ai) autonomous driving system PlusDrive.
Plus will begin mass production of its PlusDrive system this summer, with plans to deploy the supervised autonomous trucking system globally across the U.S., China, Europe and other parts of Asia.
The PlusDrive solution is being piloted by some of the largest truck fleets in the world, and have demonstrated the key benefits of improved safety, reduced fuel costs, enhanced driver comfort and reduced carbon emissions, Plus officials said.
The trucks will feature AI-enabled fuel optimization algorithms and Cummins powertrain features.
“Cummins engines can power nearly every type of vehicle and application globally, so the integration of our natural gas powertrains for autonomous driving applications is a logical next step to provide customers with solutions that align with their specific business requirements,” said J. Michael Taylor, general manager of global powertrain integration at Cummins.
This project is an extension of an ongoing collaboration to develop fuel-efficient autonomous trucks.