Plus, a company that specializes in self-driving truck technology, has unveiled a new initiative with Cummins to develop the industry’s first driver-in, supervised autonomous trucks powered by natural gas.
The compressed natural gas engines provided by Cummins have been certified to near-zero emissions, reducing smog-forming emissions by 90% compared to current EPA standards for nitrogen oxide air pollutants. Furthermore, trucks powered by Cummins and integrated with the Plus autonomous driving system are more fuel-efficient due to Plus’s AI-enabled fuel optimization algorithms and Cummins powertrain features. This combination will bring natural gas supervised autonomous trucks to market in 2022 and provide fleets a path to quickly meet their emissions-reduction and corporate sustainability goals, note the companies.
The Plus and Cummins teams will begin work on the new initiative immediately. This project is an extension of an ongoing collaboration to develop fuel-efficient autonomous trucks. Cummins says it will contribute its engineering expertise and a suite of advanced features to seamlessly integrate its natural gas powertrain with Plus’s supervised autonomous driving system, PlusDrive.
“Sustainable transportation is good for business and for humankind,” says Shawn Kerrigan, co-founder and COO of Plus. “This is an extraordinary collaboration that brings together two excellent engineering teams to create an innovative, production-ready solution that will have tremendous business and environmental impact. Working with Cummins on this product is a natural extension of our long-standing partnership.”
Plus will begin mass production of its PlusDrive system this summer, with plans to deploy the supervised autonomous trucking system globally across the U.S., China, Europe and other parts of Asia. The PlusDrive solution is being piloted by some of the largest truck fleets in the world and has demonstrated the key benefits of improved safety, reduced fuel costs, enhanced driver comfort and reduced carbon emissions.