Autonomous trucks are now working in China. China Post and Deppon Express, two of China’s leading delivery and logistics companies, will begin autonomous package delivery services this April with the first self-driving vehicles to be put into daily commercial use in the country. The delivery trucks will operate on autonomous driving technologies developed by Fabu Technology, an artificial intelligence (AI) company focused on intelligent driving systems.
The autonomous truck deployment comes on the heels of real-world evaluation testing that wrapped up last November. To conduct these tests, Fabu partnered with China Post and Deppon Express to run Level 4 autonomous driving trucks in China’s heavily populated Zhejiang Province. During the testing, self-driving trucks operating on Fabu autonomous driving technology averaged 40-mile daily round trips along three different routes, with one delivery route passing through 50 intersections, 26 of which were controlled by traffic lights.
The trucks drove both in daylight and at night, and on highways, through tunnels and along residential streets filled with pedestrians, schools and flea markets. Since the self-driving tests were conducted in winter, these Level 4 trucks also had to drive their routes during challenging weather conditions such as rainstorms, snow and fog.
In Level 4 autonomous driving, the car handles the majority of driving situations independently although a human driver can still take control when needed.
In total, during the testing period autonomous trucks operated by Fabu technology successfully drove over 2,200 miles and delivered over 60,000 parcels during China’s peak shopping season, which includes Singles’ Day, Christmas and Chinese New Year.
“We are very excited that Fabu technology is at the heart of the first autonomous delivery trucks in China,” said Xiaofei He, founder and CEO of Fabu. “China Post and Deppon have also been very pleased with the performance of FABU self-driving technology in their trucks and plan on expanding their autonomous delivery services to 100 routes in the near future.”
China Post, the state-owned enterprise that operates the official postal service of mainland China, employs 860,000 employees in over 82,000 post offices and branches. The service operates over 39,000 transport vehicles, which travel over a delivery network with 1,926,250 miles of streets and highways.
Deppon Express is a leading logistics company in China, with operations in Korea, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Deppon Express operates 10,000 retail offices across China’s 34 provinces.