Toll-road operator Transurban has partnered with Plus, an autonomous driving software company, to accelerate Transurban’s automated freight program in Victoria, Australia.
Building on Transurban’s first self-driving truck trial, which took place on the CityLink and the Monash Freeway in 2022, the companies will investigate how Plus’s L4 autonomous driving technology – combined with smart road infrastructure – could help make the country’s sector safer, and more efficient and sustainable.
It is anticipated that self-driving trucks have the potential to transform the freight industry by moving more goods, faster, and in a more sustainable manner. The use of these truck is also expected to reduce congestion and enhance road safety, in addition to addressing the shortage of truck drivers.
Since 2017, Transurban’s CAV testing program has completed 11 successful trials of fully and partially automated vehicles on highways in Australia and North America to test how they respond to road infrastructure. The aforementioned 2022 trial was the first in Australia to test highly automated self-driving trucks in live traffic conditions on public motorways.
The partnership will use Plus’s advanced autonomous driving software and global commercial deployment experience to co-develop self-driving trucks for Europe. The company’s driving software uses generative AI, machine learning, computer vision and other algorithms to enable vehicles to benefit from superhuman awareness and control.
“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,” said Scott Charlton, CEO of Transurban.
“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.”
“At Plus, we have seen firsthand through our global deployments the transformational impact that our autonomous driving solutions can have on transportation to improve safety, efficiency and sustainability,” commented Shawn Kerrigan, co-founder and COO, 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.”