CUPERTINO, November 11, 2021
Plus, a leading provider of self-driving truck technology, has launched a transformational driver-in automated solution aimed at making long-haul trucking safer, more efficient and more comfortable for truck drivers.
The product, called PlusDrive, comes as the pandemic, e-commerce spikes, and supply chain challenges continue to place extraordinary demands on fleets and drivers. Carriers face tremendous pressure to move more truckloads more quickly – and more safely – while confronting driver shortages and high turnover.
PlusDrive helps alleviate these pain points by providing truck drivers with “the most advanced equipment to do their jobs better, easier, and safer,” said Shawn Kerrigan, Plus’s COO and Co-founder.
Encompassing cutting-edge sensors and artificial intelligence technologies, PlusDrive functions as a highly intelligent driving assistant. Professional drivers retain control of the vehicle at all times, and have the option to engage the system to automatically drive on the highway in all traffic conditions, keep the vehicle centered in its lane, make lane changes, handle merging traffic, and, when required, brake in case of an emergency.
A simple, sleek aesthetic adds to the system functionality. The PlusDrive sensors are built into the overall design of the truck with no exposed cables or wiring, offering a modern look and feel along with ease of maintenance. A screen displays traffic around the vehicle, whether PlusDrive is engaged or not, and other key controls and system information.
Designed with the driver in mind, the system has drawn high praise from truck operators.
“Drivers we train tell me that operating a Class 8 truck equipped with PlusDrive is the next best thing to becoming a pilot,” said Ruben Cardenas, Plus’s senior operator trainer.
The system’s powerful technology offers operators “peace of mind” when drivers are on the road, Cardenas explained. “PlusDrive can see and react to situations that are way beyond what even the most experienced drivers are humanly capable of. Its priority is to be a safe driver on the road, and it has no ego.”
Fuel efficiency is another core benefit. PlusDrive reduces fuel usage by optimizing braking and throttle usage in all traffic, road gradient or curvature, and load weight conditions. It consistently achieves fuel savings of more than 10% because it has been trained by the most efficient and experienced drivers like Cardenas, thereby significantly reducing operational costs and carbon footprint.
Fleets seek automated solutions that will help them navigate today’s myriad supply chain challenges. Already being delivered as a commercial product to customers starting early this year, PlusDrive can be integrated with heavy-duty trucks on the factory floor or added to existing trucks.
Over-the-air software updates will continually expand the area that PlusDrive-equipped trucks can operate.
PlusDrive allows fleets to take advantage of the benefits of autonomous driving technology now, by offering a groundbreaking product that yields meaningful improvements in safety, efficiency, driver comfort, and sustainability.