Self-Driving Trucks to Test in “Complex Driving Scenarios” Across U.S.
Las Vegas, NV – A leading self-driving truck technology company announced today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that it will soon be testing in “complex driving scenarios” in all permissible continental U.S. states.
Silicon Valley-based Plus.ai says its ongoing safety testing program of its driverless truck technology will now include both closed course testing as well as public road testing.
As part of the testing program, a safety driver and operations specialist will be on board to assume manual control if needed, Plus.ai says.
Additionally, the company is exploring new testing facilities and pilot runs that it says will “broaden the complex driving scenarios” that its autonomous system is capable of handling.
Plus.ai has already conducted testing of its autonomous trucks in 17 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
It was the first autonomous trucking company to test in many of these states, the company says.
As an example, in October of 2019 Plus.ai announced a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to test its self-driving technology in harsh winter conditions.
The testing is being conducted on MnDOT’s MnROAD cold-weather pavement testing facility, with the purpose of preparing its autonomous technology to “drive in all climates, including the toughest winter road conditions that Minnesota experiences,” Shawn Kerrigan, Plus.ai’s COO and co-founder, commented at the time.
Then, in December of last year, the company announced one of its level-four autonomous trucks completed a hub-to-hub trip spanning 2,800 miles from Tulare, CA to Quakertown, PA.
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Plus.ai says its autonomous truck, which was pulling a refrigerated trailer loaded with 40,000 pounds of Land O’Lakes butter, encountered a wide-range of weather and road conditions, as well as traffic conditions.
“We want to build a technology solution that is applicable across different weather, terrains, and driving scenarios,” Kerrigan declared in today’s announcement. “Testing our trucks’ readiness means we need to put them through stringent safety tests, on every highway in the country. That is why we are committing to expand our testing to all states that allow autonomous vehicle testing by the end of this year.”
Plus.ai expects that the new testing sites and states will be selected by the end of first quarter in 2020, and implementation will take place through the rest of the year.