An SAE-Level-4 autonomous truck recently completed a coast-to-coast commercial freight run hauling refrigerated freight for Land O’Lakes. The 2,800-mile, hub-to-hub trip from Tulare, California, to Quakertown, Pennsylvania, was completed in less than three days, hauling a fully-loaded refrigerated trailer of perishable cargo.
The truck was equipped with Plus.ai’s advanced autonomous driving system, which uses multimodal sensor fusion, deep learning visual algorithms, and simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) technologies.
Plus.ai called the journey an important milestone in validating the system’s ability to safely handle a wide range of weather and road conditions. The vehicle drove primarily in autonomous mode through the 2,800 miles across interstate 15 and interstate 70, passing through varied terrains and weather conditions. A safety driver was onboard at all times to monitor and assume control if needed, and a safety engineer was present to monitor system operations.
“This cross-country freight run with Land O’Lakes shows the safety, efficiency and maturity of our autonomous trucks, which are already delivering freight for other partners several days a week,” said Shawn Kerrigan, COO and co-founder of Plus.ai, in a news release. “Continued advances in our autonomous trucks will make it possible for these quick cross-country runs to be the norm in the future. We are excited to demonstrate what our technology can already achieve today while meeting rigorous autonomous driving safety and food transportation compliance standards.”
The Plus.ai autonomous truck safely navigated driving day and night through the plains of Kansas, winding roads of the Rockies, road construction, multi-mile tunnels, over 11,000 feet elevation, and was greeted with rainy and snowy roads heading east, all in under three days.
“Self-driving and other emerging transportation technologies stand to completely reshape commercial shipping, so we are thrilled to collaborate with technology leaders like Plus.ai to pilot autonomous trucks for our shipping needs,” said Yone Dewberry, Land O’Lakes’ chief supply chain officer. “End of the year is a very busy time for us. To be able to address this peak demand with a fuel- and cost-effective freight transport solution will be tremendously valuable to our business.”
Plus.ai is headquartered in Silicon Valley with research and development offices in China. It was founded in 2016 by a group of serial entrepreneurs and industry veterans with over 20 years of experience in high tech and artificial intelligence. Plus.ai is currently working with leading truck manufacturers, large shippers, and top fleet operators in the U.S. and China.