Track Tech: Snow-covered Reception Edition

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This week, Embark Trucks will test Level 4 autonomy in the snow. Volvo Trucks will expand the VNR electric driving range to 280 miles. Waymo Via engages in JB Hunt. more.

Let it snow

When developers of self-driving trucks talk about “edge” cases, anomalous and unexpected events that can confuse robot drivers, they often refer to rain, fog, and glare from the sun.

Autonomous driving in the snow is one of the less controversial ones. until now.

Embark Trucks, one of the startups on which an approach to autonomous trucks depends Software application I’m testing the system with a white one on a chassis built from scratch.

San Francisco-based embarkation (NASDAQ: EMBKThis week, he said he is developing a roadmap based on Vision Map Fusion to develop, deploy and demonstrate technologies that operate autonomously in snow conditions by the end of the winter of 2022.

If successful, it will allow routes through mountains and other winter climates. Currently no one is doing it. Or at least they aren’t talking about it. Most efforts to complete autonomy generally focus on dry climatologically favorable conditions. Southwestern United States It is a place where the sun is shining and the wind is calm.

The complexities and scenarios associated with snow runs are not part of Embark’s goal of commercializing self-driving trucks. The company’s Roadmap to Driver Out, released last June, solves five of the 16 technological achievements needed to roll out Phase I of the technology in Sunbelt, USA in 2024. We are still working on it.

It is difficult to exaggerate the difficulty of driving in the snow, not to mention robots, even experienced human drivers. Keeping your products running in uncontrollable weather is important to keep your supply chain running in the absence of a pandemic.

Many autonomous truck companies rely on high-resolution maps to navigate their roads. There is no problem if the road basically does not change every day. But if precipitation covers the ground and obscures lane markings, it has no effect. Embark uses VMF technology to perform winter road data collection and develop enhanced perceptual capabilities that allow Embark drivers to safely navigate snow and wet conditions.

Autonomous driving in snowy conditions is one of the “edge” cases in front of robot truck developers. The embarkation truck takes care of it. (Photo: Boarding truck)

Extended range

Even before the electric truck reaches mainstream, it is most often seen to occur by the end of the decade, but the main limitation of the electric truck, that is, how much it can move between charges, is a calculation. It is a part.

Most early Class 8 electric trucks offer 100-200 miles before you need to plug them in. This week’s Volvo Trucks newest version The VNR Electric Daycab travels up to 275 miles with an improved battery design (up to 40% more storage capacity for each battery pack) and a combination of two more packs.

The new 6-battery option adds weight to the truck. This means that freight capacity will decline. However, if the full truck load is not required, adding weight is a long-distance trade-off.

The new Volvo VNR Electric, launched in the second quarter, reduces the charging time required. A 250 kW direct current (DC) charger will be 80% charged in 90 minutes for a 6-battery package and 60 minutes for a 4-battery version.

Two new configurations, a 6×4 straight track and a 6×4 tractor, have been added to the lineup. Volvo Truck North America currently offers 4×2 tractors, 6×2 tractors, and single-axis straight trucks. Trucks are still targeted at regional and regional distribution areas, such as food and beverage, drage, and pick-up and delivery routes.

Worldwide, Volvo Trucks (OTC: VLVLY) Promises that by 2030, 50% of trucks will run on electricity. This was an early move to start commercial production in 2019. We currently offer 6 battery electric models. The joint venture with rival Daimler Trucks plans to produce hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric trucks for both manufacturers in the second half of 2010.

Volvo VNR Electric gets two new configurations, including the 6X4 version, with more energy storage and additional battery, extending the charging interval up to 275 miles. (Photo: Volvo Trucks)


Several Casual dating The relationship between autonomous truck developers Waymo Via and JB Hunt Transport is becoming more and more serious. Waymo and JB Hunt completed their first test run last year by moving cargo along Texas Interstate Highway 45. Future pilots will be in the same lane.

The two have a long-term, strategic alliance to commercialize autonomous driving technology. Waymo Via aims to be the first launch partner for freight transport as JB Hunt deploys fully autonomous operations in Texas over the next few years. Unlike its competitors, which are targeting the launch of self-driving trucks in 2024, Waymo has not announced a specific year.

Finally, Waymo Via is JB Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) And JB Hunt 360.

Craig Harper, Chief Sustainability Officer of JB Hunt, said:

“Self-driving technology helps build the most efficient transportation network in North America. Collaboration with WaymoVIa is a crucial step in fulfilling that mission.”

Waymo Via and JB Hunt will build a 2021 pilot through a long-term autonomous freight contract. (Photo: Waymo Via)

This week’s quote

“I attribute it to the image of green sustainability that companies now recognize that they need to be part of their plans. They make sure they’re doing the right thing. There is a branding opportunity for eco-friendly customers. It’s a good promotion and there are many companies trying to take advantage of it. “

Hank Johnson, Kenworth Tracks Occupational and Medium-sized General Sales Manager

Best of the rest

Customers Nicola Tre Battery Electric Trucks are eligible for up to $ 120,000 vouchers under the California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). Nicola (NASDAQ: NKLA) Grant creators are waiting to provide paperwork there and coins to buy electric trucks in other states.

Engineering and strategy consultant Ricardo Will lead a federal program in the next 12 months at the Port of Long Beach, California, to provide high-power, high-efficiency, silicon carbide inverters, and integrated compact electronic drive units for 2-axis Class 8 trucks. 800 volts is expected to achieve an efficiency of 98.5%.

Ricardo leads the Department of Energy’s Charging Efficiency Project. (Photo: Ricardo)

Lion Electric Co., Ltd. ((((NYSE: LEV) Have moved To a production facility in Joliet, Illinois. Canada-based manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks and buses expect the first vehicle to be off the production line later this year.

Autonomous truck developer and independent subsidiary of Daimler Trucks Torc Robotics Adding a third location in Austin, Texas. The 21,000-square-foot engineering center has joined the test center in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the headquarters in Blacksburg, Virginia.

That’s all for this week. thank you for reading.


The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 The For-Hire Carriers list includes: JB Hunt (No.4). Track Tech: Snow-covered Reception Edition

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