Transurban and Plus Collaborate to Advance Level 4 Autonomous Trucks in Australia
Partners to develop autonomous trucking program on high-tech roadways to improve freight efficiency, traffic congestion, and road safety while reducing carbon emissions
Melbourne, Australia and Santa Clara, CA – August 22, 2023 – World-leading toll-road operator, Transurban, today announced a partnership with Plus, a global Silicon Valley-based autonomous driving software company, to advance Transurban’s automated freight program and take advantage of the resources and talent in Victoria, the home of Australian innovation.
The partnership will build on the success of Transurban’s first self-driving truck trial on CityLink and the Monash Freeway last year to explore how Plus’s Level 4 autonomous driving technology, combined with smart road infrastructure, could help make trucking safer, more efficient, and more sustainable in Australia.
Countries around the world are starting to explore the benefits of self-driving trucks on public motorways. The combination of global and local expertise that enables smart roads to communicate with self-driving trucks through this partnership sets Victoria up to be an international leader in this space.
With road freight projected to grow steadily in the coming decades, self-driving trucks have the potential to transform the freight industry by moving more goods, more quickly, and more sustainably. This will also deliver positive economic and social outcomes for consumers, motorists and Governments by reducing congestion and improving road safety, while helping to address the shortage of truck drivers.
Starting in 2017, Transurban’s comprehensive CAV testing program has worked with governments and industry to roll out 11 successful trials of fully and partially automated vehicles on motorways across Australia and North America to test how they respond to road infrastructure.
Transurban’s successful 2022 trial was the first time in Australia that a highly automated self-driving truck was tested in live traffic conditions on public motorways.
The partnership between Transurban and Plus will leverage Plus’s state-of-the-art autonomous driving software and global commercial deployment experience, which includes the cooperation with IVECO, the global commercial vehicle brand of Iveco Group, to co-develop self-driving trucks for Europe. Highly automated trucks enabled by Plus’s technology are already delivering freight in the U.S. for world-class fleets and being tested on public roads in Germany with IVECO.
Plus’s autonomous driving software uses the latest advances in generative AI, machine learning, computer vision, and other state-of-the-art algorithms to empower vehicles with superhuman awareness and control. Integrated with advanced lidar, radar, and camera sensors, Plus’s software can detect and precisely track objects, predict their movement, and then safely maneuver the vehicle.
Scott Charlton, CEO of Transurban, said: “This partnership will support long-term opportunities for automated freight, including potential benefits to reduce congestion and improve road safety and traffic flow, and is a continuation of Transurban’s work in this area. Automated transport technologies are going to transform the way we move goods around cities, and with vital connections between ports and other freight hubs, our roads offer ideal conditions to facilitate this new technology.”
Tien-Ti Mak, General Manager for Strategic Innovation at Transurban, said: “Transurban roads are some of the most technologically sophisticated in the world, and we’re excited to combine our infrastructure and operational expertise with Plus’s innovative technology to bring the benefits of automated freight one step closer. The adoption of self-driving trucks in specific environments can have positive outcomes for Victoria by improving road safety, increasing productivity, reducing congestion and importantly, creating jobs for the future.”
“At Plus, we have seen first-hand through our global deployments the transformational impact that our autonomous driving solutions can have on transportation to improve safety, efficiency and sustainability,” said Shawn Kerrigan, Co-Founder and COO at Plus. “We are delighted to partner with Transurban to drive autonomous trucking development in Australia to the next level, and show the unparalleled benefits in road safety and operational efficiency delivered by a collaboration between the world’s most advanced autonomous driving software and smart infrastructure provider.”
Paul Guerra, CEO for Victorian Chamber of Commerce, said: “We congratulate Transurban on this wonderful initiative. Through driving a culture of innovation, Victoria attracts talent, investment, and businesses. Not to mention tens of billions of dollars in local industry revenue. Fostering an innovation ecosystem and supporting startups is a strategic pillar for meaningful employment and economic prosperity, as we look to ‘future-proof’ the workforce of Victoria. We recognize that this support is vital for economic growth, job creation and the productivity of the State.”
Transurban is an Australian-owned company that builds and operates toll roads in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, as well as in Greater Washington, DC, United States and Montreal, Canada.
As one of the world’s leading toll-road operators, Transurban’s focus is getting people where they want to go, as quickly and safely as possible – from designing and building new roads to researching new vehicle and road safety technology.
Transurban is also a technology company, researching and developing innovative tolling and transport technology that makes travel easier for everyone.
Transurban designs roads for the long term, ensuring they’ll deliver real and lasting benefits to cities and their communities.
More information at Transurban.com.
Plus is a global provider of highly automated driving and fully autonomous driving solutions with headquarters in Silicon Valley, California, and operations in the U.S. and Germany. Named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Startup Employers and by Fast Company as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, Plus’s open autonomy technology platform is already powering vehicles in commercial use today. Working with leading vehicle manufacturers, fleets, and other technology companies globally, Plus is helping to make driving safer, more comfortable, and more sustainable. Plus has received a number of industry awards and distinctions for its transformative technology and business momentum from Fast Company, Forbes, Insider, Consumer Electronics Show, AUVSI, and others.