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J.B. Hunt and Waymo Via announce long-term collaboration with plans to complete fully autonomous transport

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J.B. Hunt and Waymo Via announce long-term collaboration with plans to complete fully autonomous transport. Image: J B Hunt
J.B. Hunt and Waymo Via announce long-term collaboration with plans to complete fully autonomous transport. Image: J B Hunt
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J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., one of the largest supply chain solutions providers in North America, announced a long-term, strategic alliance with Waymo Via that will advance innovative efforts to integrate commercial autonomous driving technology in transportation and logistics, with ultimate plans to complete fully autonomous transport in Texas in the next few years.

“Our pilot last year with Waymo Via really helped us get a hands-on understanding of how autonomous driving technology could be implemented within our operations,” said Craig Harper, chief sustainability officer and executive vice president at J.B. Hunt. “This strategic alliance will continue that momentum and further explore the intricate details that would make this a value-driven solution for customers. We believe autonomous driving technology will help us create the most efficient transportation network in North America, and our collaboration with Waymo Via is a pivotal step towards fulfilling that mission.”

The expanded collaboration will include multiple pilots to further analyze the operational capacity of Waymo Via, the company’s autonomous Class 8 trucking unit powered by the Waymo Driver, to address customer needs in realistic scenarios. Waymo and J.B. Hunt completed their first trial runs last year moving freight along I-45 in Texas for one of J.B. Hunt’s leading customers. The upcoming pilots will take place in the same lane.

“Our collaboration with J.B. Hunt in 2021 was incredibly fruitful,” said Charlie Jatt, head of commercialization for trucking at Waymo. “Establishing this strategic alliance marks an exciting moment for our relationship, and more importantly, paves the way for us both to help grow the foundations for successful deployment and to capitalize on the benefits of autonomous driving technology. We’re incredibly grateful for our relationship with J.B. Hunt and their shared vision for the safety and efficiency benefits we can bring to the industry at a critical time.”

Beyond the highway, the two will explore solutions that merge two of the most innovative forces in the transportation industry – autonomous driving technology and the digital marketplace. J.B. Hunt’s technology platform – J.B. Hunt 360°® – is an industry leader in digital freight matching and was responsible for processing 1.2 million loads in 2020. Waymo has over a decade of experience in building autonomous driving technology, having driven over 20 million miles on public roads across 13+ U.S. states and 20 billion miles in simulation. The combined solution, which would make Waymo Via accessible through J.B. Hunt 360, would be a unique offering with potential to greatly improve transportation efficiency.

Additionally, the collaboration will include operational and market studies to refine the commercial readiness of the driving technology.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

SHIPPEO expands in North America

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SHIPPEO expands in North America. Image: Unsplash
SHIPPEO expands in North America. Image: Unsplash
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Shippeo, a global leader in real-time transportation visibility, announces it’s expanding its North American operations and U.S. executive team, as well as enhancing its customer-centric, multi-modal visibility platform. The systemwide enhancements will support global customers and the company’s growing North American customer base.

During this time of supply chain disruption, when visibility data is a lifeline enabling companies to proactively manage freight flows, Shippeo will accelerate the number of secure, direct integrations with U.S.-based trucking companies, logistics providers and ocean carriers, and have access to data from their terminal and port operator trading partners. This will build out Shippeo’s comprehensive, global, neutral partner network to augment the flow of visibility data to customers.

Shippeo’s presence in North America has uncovered an underserved aspect of the market’s visibility offerings, the customer-centric supply chain. By putting customers and their ecosystem of suppliers first, Shippeo has achieved a dominant leadership position in Europe and the Middle East with over 130 customers, including global brands such as, Coca-Cola, Schneider Electric, Sappi, Kuehne + Nagel, ThyssenKrupp and Saint-Gobain. In addition, 97% of Shippeo’s customers on Gartner Peer Insights would recommend the Shippeo Visibility Platform.*

Shippeo’s aim is to provide customers with the critical visibility data needed to increase operational agility and efficiency, strengthen their company’s supply chain execution and deliver a better experience for their customers.

Joining Shippeo’s executive team are industry heavyweights, Christopher Mazza and Brian Shultz, who will head-up Shippeo’s U.S.-based growth initiative.

Christopher P. Mazza, Shippeo Senior Vice President of International Growth, will lead Shippeo’s expansion in North America and new markets. Chris has extensive knowledge and experience with freight and logistics technology solutions having held senior leadership roles with ClearMetal, XVELA, and International Assets Systems. In addition, Chris has served in operational and executive management positions with major ocean carriers including, Maersk, DSR-Senator and Hanjin.

Brian Shultz, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Americas, has been working in the international supply chain technology space for more than 20 years. He’s created and managed large logistics networks comprising all modes of transportation for logistics service providers, beneficial cargo owner shippers, 3PLs and 4PLs. Brian has held senior leadership roles within ABB, International Assets Systems and Navis, in addition to years of international supply chain consulting.

“There is no better time than now to accelerate Shippeo’s position within the North American market. Visibility data analytics is vital to helping companies proactively manage supply chain issues, especially now, as ongoing market and infrastructure challenges continue to disrupt transportation flows and reliable logistics processes. We’re excited to deliver enhanced, innovative Shippeo visibility solutions to support and strengthen our global customers and North American companies,” said Lucien Besse, COO at Shippeo.

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Environment

DACHSER expands zero-emission vehicle fleet

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DACHSER expands zero-emission vehicle fleet. Image: DACHSER
DACHSER expands zero-emission vehicle fleet. Image: DACHSER
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Logistics provider DACHSER is to step up its use of zero-emission vehicles. Zero-emission vehicles are trucks and cars that do not directly produce any emissions of greenhouse gases or air pollutants. In an initial step, the family-owned company will introduce at least 50 additional battery electric trucks on European routes by the end of 2023. DACHSER is also planning to add around 1,000 electric passenger cars to its fleet of company and service vehicles. In parallel, the company will press ahead with a range of pilot projects to develop and test hydrogen-powered trucks equipped with fuel cell technology. DACHSER plans to have hydrogen-powered vehicles from a range of manufacturers operating within its network by no later than the beginning of 2023.

“The only way for the transportation sector to meet the global community’s long-term goal of net zero emissions is by using zero-emission vehicles. That’s why such vehicles form a key plank of our own climate protection strategy,” explains Stefan Hohm, Chief Development Officer at DACHSER. “We’re going to significantly expand our use of environmentally friendly vehicles in the coming years, which will give us valuable practical experience and also help us increase the number of units.”

“We’re actively promoting the use of zero-emission vehicles in our European network with a view to incorporating them as effectively as possible in our transportation processes. These are investments in the future, which will pay off in the long-term” said Alexander Tonn, Chief Operations Officer Road Logistics at DACHSER.

More electric trucks and more areas of application

At present, DACHSER primarily uses battery-powered vehicles for urban deliveries within its groupage network. In Europe, the company has electrically assisted cargo bikes in daily operations and, above all, electric vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 7.5 metric tons. There are still very few all-electric production vehicles available in heavier weight classes. At present, the only vehicle of this type DACHSER has in service is a preproduction model of the 19-metric-ton Mercedes-Benz eActros in Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Württemberg, as part of an innovation partnership with Daimler.

In the next two years, DACHSER will introduce at least 50 additional zero-emission trucks, including heavy battery-electric motor vehicles and truck tractors from a range of manufacturers, either through direct purchase or in cooperation with transport partners.

“We’re actively promoting the use of zero-emission vehicles in our European network with a view to incorporating them as effectively as possible in our transportation processes. These are investments in the future, which will pay off in the long-term,” explains Alexander Tonn, Chief Operations Officer (COO) Road Logistics at DACHSER. “We’ll be expanding our use of zero-emission trucks to the areas of regional and, in particular, shuttle transports this year. We also intend to use battery-powered vehicles to move around swap bodies and semi-trailers at our branches.”

Electric company cars

DACHSER also plans to ensure that by the end of 2023, one in two company cars at its locations in Europe is a battery electric vehicle. This represents approximately 1,000 passenger cars in total. Company car drivers and DACHSER branches will be able to choose between different models from various manufacturers. Since all-electric vehicles do not yet offer the technical specifications required for every kind of user profile, this transition will be gradual. In addition, since delivery times are currently very long, short-term demand cannot be met right now. For members of the DACHSER Executive Board, the switch to electric company cars will be completed in 2022.

New charge spots delivering green electricity

To accompany these measures, DACHSER will ensure adequate availability of charge spots at its branches. In addition, there are plans to create over 40 fast charging stations for trucks, each with a charging power of 180 kW. All of these charge spots are to be supplied with green electricity, which will be either bought in or produced by the company’s own photovoltaic systems.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

TuSimple becomes first to successfully operate driver out, fully autonomous semi-truck on open public roads

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TuSimple becomes first to successfully operate driver out, fully autonomous semi-truck on open public roads. Image: TuSimple
TuSimple becomes first to successfully operate driver out, fully autonomous semi-truck on open public roads. Image: TuSimple
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TuSimple, a global autonomous driving technology company, successfully completed the world’s first fully autonomous semi-truck run on open public roads without a human in the vehicle and without human intervention. The run took place on December 22nd and required TuSimple’s upfitted autonomous semi-truck to begin its journey from a large railyard in Tucson, Arizona, and travel more than 80 miles on surface streets and highways at night, safely arriving at a high-volume distribution center in the Phoenix metro area. Along the journey, TuSimple’s Autonomous Driving System successfully navigated surface streets, traffic signals, on-ramps, off-ramps, emergency lane vehicles, and highway lane changes in open traffic while naturally interacting with other motorists.

The one-hour and 20-minute drive is the first time a class 8 autonomous truck has operated on open public roads without a human in the vehicle and without human intervention and is part of an ongoing test program that will continue into 2022. The test was performed in close collaboration with the Arizona Department of Transportation and law enforcement. The autonomous driving test was 100% operated by TuSimple’s ADS without a human on-board, without remote human control of the vehicle, and without traffic intervention.

“By achieving this momentous technical milestone, we demonstrated the advanced capabilities of TuSimple’s autonomous driving system and the commercial maturity of our testing process, prioritizing safety and collaboration every step of the way. This test reinforces what we believe is our unique position at the forefront of autonomous trucking, delivering advanced driving technology at commercial scale,” said Cheng Lu, President, and CEO, TuSimple. “This year, we were laser-focused on putting our technology through a rigorous test on open public roads under real-world conditions, and to see all our hard work and dedication come together is extremely rewarding.”

To ensure public safety, TuSimple worked closely with government regulators and law enforcement and implemented a TuSimple survey vehicle to look for anomalies operating over five miles ahead, an oversight vehicle capable of putting the autonomous truck in a minimal risk condition (MRC) trailing behind, and law enforcement vehicles following at a distance of 0.5 miles as an extra layer of safety precaution.

TuSimple’s “Driver Out” pilot program is the culmination of 1.5 years of work to develop an L4 autonomous semi-truck with the level of redundancy, reliability, and consistency to safely take the driver out on public roads. This is a critical first step in scaling autonomous trucking operations on the TuSimple Autonomous Freight Network (AFN).

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