Plus and Goodyear are collaborating to make autonomous-truck technology more efficient and safer. - Photo: Plus/Goodyear

Plus and Goodyear are collaborating to make autonomous-truck technology more efficient and safer.

Photo: Plus/Goodyear

Goodyear will work with autonomous-truck technology developer Plus (formerly Plus.ai) on how connected tires can help improve the performance of its PlusDrive autonomous driving solution.

In a Aug. 23 announcement of the strategic collaboration, the companies said Goodyear’s suite of services, including connected tires, will enhance efficiency and safety for trucks with Plus’s Level 4 autonomous driving technology while reducing carbon impact.

Goodyear and Plus will explore how Plus’s autonomous driving system can incorporate feedback from Goodyear’s connected tires into Plus’s online, machine learning-based fuel optimization, to further improve fuel economy. Integrating Goodyear’s intelligent tires with Plus’s autonomous driving system can also improve a vehicle’s overall performance in severe weather and extreme road conditions, according to the companies.

Plus is developing autonomous truck technology with a variety of partners around the world. - Photo: Plus

Plus is developing autonomous truck technology with a variety of partners around the world.

Photo: Plus

Plus is already deploying its driver-in autonomous driving solution, PlusDrive, to customers in China, where it is expected to start production of the FAW J7 L3 truck powered by PlusDrive in the third quarter of 2021.

“Tires are the only thing on a vehicle that touches the ground, and it’s this critical position that can help us enable future mobility solutions like autonomous transportation,” said Chris Helsel, Goodyear senior VP of global operations.

Goodyear isn’t the only tire company working with autonomous-truck developers. Bridgestone recently announced deals with Kodiak and Einride.

More about Plus

This is just the latest industry collaboration Plus has announced. Plus’s partnerships with Cummins and truck manufacturer Iveco will put autonomous trucks powered by natural gas on the road starting in 2022. It’s also working with Nvidia.

Plus also recently announced a successful test of a driverless semi truck operated using Plus’s Level 4 autonomous driving technology, without a safety driver, teleoperator, or any other forms of human intervention. The driverless Level 4 truck demonstration was completed on the Wufengshan highway in China’s largest economic center of Yangtze Delta. The demonstration was conducted with a special permit on the newly built highway, with Plus being the first company to be granted such a permit in China. During the demonstration, the driverless truck drove safely and smoothly in typical highway traffic, according to a news release.

Plus expects to launch pilot operations of a fully driverless truck for use in a dedicated environment in 2022.

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