ONAutonomous driving technology is transforming the transportation sector, especially the $ 800 billion trucking industry.
“Trucking serves as a barometer of the US economy and represents 72.5% of the tonnage carried by all types of domestic freight transport, including industrial and retail goods,” according to the American Trucking Associations (they).
Despite its crucial role in the economy, the truck industry faces numerous challenges. Autonomous technology can help solve many of these problems and unlock the potential in logistics and forward-link delivery. Here’s an overview of self-driving trucks and how NVIDIA (NVDA) drives autonomous trucks.
There are many economic and operational incentives that could contribute to the rapid adoption of autonomous trucks. In contrast to conventional vehicles, self-driving trucks are fuel efficient, which lowers operating costs. One recently to learn from the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California San Diego showed that autonomous technologies reduce the fuel consumption of heavy trucks by at least 10%. Several factors such as better aerodynamics, computer-controlled acceleration and an optimized cruising speed help self-driving trucks to save more fuel. Also, because these advanced forklifts monitor themselves to report technical problems, the delay in error detection and the time spent in workshops can be reduced.
The US has strict “hours of duty” Regulations for truck drivers to ensure a balance between driving and rest. This has resulted in a driver shortage and poor retention rates.
“Due to their own security focus and the requirements of their insurance companies, companies only hire drivers who pass criminal background checks, have clean driving records without movement violations and DUIs, and can pass drug tests,” said a report from the US Department of Transportation. “Driving automation is seen by truck industry analysts as a potential solution to the problem of driver shortage.”
In recent years, e-commerce has also increased, which has resulted in massive demand for faster, same-day deliveries. However, the limit on hours and the lack of drivers have hampered the speed of deliveries. Autonomous trucks could help as they can speed up deliveries and overall productivity.
“With full autonomy, operating costs would decrease by about 45%, saving the US truck rental industry between $ 85 billion and $ 125 billion,” said a McKinsey report.
In addition, the technology can make a huge contribution to driver safety, as an estimated 90% of accidents (in whole or in part) are due to human error.
Driving with NVIDIA DRIVE
In 2015, NVIDIA introduced its autonomous driving platform, NVIDIA DRIVE. The company continues to release superior versions and upgrades on a regular basis, most recently in April 2021. NVIDIA announced its next-generation AI-enabled processor for autonomous vehicles. NVIDIA DRIVE Atlanthat will deliver more than 1,000 trillion operations per second (TOPS).
NVIDIA has many partnerships with truck manufacturers and startups that offer driverless technology. In July 2020, Navistar (ARE NOT) and TuSimple (TSP) entered entered into a strategic partnership to jointly develop SAE Level 4 self-driving trucks, and in August the two companies went a step further and announced that their self-driving trucks would be compatible with the NVIDIA DRIVE AGX platform. In May 2021, TuSimple said that in partnership with Navistar it has received 6,775 reservations of autonomous SAE Level 4 trucks and that Penske Truck Leasing, Schneider and US Xpress are among the first customers to place orders.
In October 2020, Locomotion, a leading provider of autonomous truck technology announced that from 2022 it will use the autonomous vehicle computing platform NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Orin to commercialize self-driving trucks. NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Orin is an advanced software-defined platform for autonomous vehicles. The system is equipped with the new Orin System-on-a-Chip (SoC), which delivers more than 200 trillion operations per second, almost seven times the performance of NVIDIA’s previous generation Xavier SoC.
In March 2021, plus (formerly Plus.ai), a leader in self-driving truck technology, said it will equip the next generation of its autonomous Truck driving system with the NVIDIA DRIVE Orin System-on-a-Chip (SoC). The company plans to roll out this next-generation system in the US, China and Europe in 2022. NVIDIA has worked with Plus and the FAW Group for a number of years. Back in 2018, FAW group together with Plus.ai and Full Truck Alliance decided to use NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus to develop a large-scale self-driving truck hailing service. In September 2019, Plus.ai and FAW Jiefang announced that joint venture to develop autonomous trucks for China. In November 2020, China’s first intelligent truck, FAW J7 +, powered by Plus’s self-driving technology, hit the ground running passed the national certification test in the China Automotive Technology & Research Center.
In June 2021, NVIDIA DRIVE entered Canada as NuPort robotics, a Canadian self-driving truck startup. It has decided to Leverage NVIDIA DRIVE develops autonomous driving systems for medium-range short-haul routes. NuPort is working with the Ontario government and Canadian Tire on a pilot project to accelerate the commercialization of this technology.
Volvo also uses the end-to-end platform NVIDIA DRIVE to develop autonomous transport solutions and next-generation Level 4 trucks. In June 2019, Volvo Group first announced that it uses NVIDIA DRIVE’s end-to-end autonomous driving platform to train, test, and deploy self-driving AI vehicles.
In December 2020, entrance announced the next generation of groundbreaking pods use the autonomous vehicle computing platform NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Orin for unmanned high-speed operation. Although not classified as a conventional truck, the Einride Pod is the first vehicle of its kind to enable completely unmanned and 100% electric heavy haulage.
NVIDIA is helping revolutionize trucking.
Disclaimer: The author has no position in the stocks mentioned. Investors should not view the above information as a factual recommendation but as an idea for further consideration. The report has been carefully prepared based on the information found in Nvidia’s earnings reports, annual reports, website and blogs. Any exclusions or errors therein are completely unintentional. ATA estimates that the trucking industry was $ 791 in 2019.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.