Ryder, a supply chain management and fleet management company is now partnering with another autonomous trucking company. Ryder, a supply chain and fleet management solutions company, announced on Thursday its intention to assist Embark in launching a national network of 100 transfer points. The autonomous trucking development will own the networks.
Ryder is now a third partner in this public venture with autonomous trucking firms. The company recently revealed plans to assist Waymo Via in scaling its autonomous trucking operation by providing standard fleet management and maintenance. Ryder will also be working with TuSimple in order to make its facilities available as terminals for startup.
Karen Jones, Ryder’s EVP for product innovation and new product development, said that they are on the cutting-edge and beginning to see how AV can play a significant role in future transportation logistics.
Jones stated that Ryder is in discussions with other AV companies such as Aurora, Kodiak and Plus. However, no additional deals have been announced. Jones said Ryder hopes to grow and learn from the many use cases it has with other AV companies like Aurora, Kodiak, Plus, as well as create a replicable hub model to help the company get to market quicker.
Jones stated that Jones believes there are still many unknowns as to how the technology will be maintained, serviced and operated. Ryder makes a great partner because they have large maintenance facilities and our logistics and supply chain business. These facilities are complex and we know how to get vehicles into larger buildings span>
Ryder, as part of its partnership Embark will manage the yard, fleet and maintenance. Ryder will be an advisor on Embark’s network of transfer points strategically placed where freight can be moved from long-haul driverless trucks to driver-controlled trucks. This allows for last-mile and first-mile delivery.
Jones says Ryder will help Embark understand the requirements for its facilities. He also cooperates with third-party partners of Embark who will be either constructing or locating these sites. The companies will choose sites in California, Arizona and Texas to start operations in the early part of next year. This will allow Embark to prepare for a bigger commercial launch in 2024.
Sun Belt areas are often chosen by autonomous companies to start operations. It’s uncommon to need to consider inclement weather like snow or sleet making it ideal for testing. Ryder and Embark plan to collaborate with a group of real-estate operators over the next five year to create 100 Embark transfer stations across the nation.
Embark currently moves freight for HP, Budweiser maker AB inBev and Knight Swift Transportation.
Rodrigues states that Embark currently has pilots and smaller-scale versions of the freight partnership it plans to start in the future. Today, 16 trucks are owned by the company. There is a safety officer in the front to help in an emergency, but the majority of the time the driver doesn’t have to step in, regardless of whether the truck encounters new circumstances.
It is not possible to operate only on highways without building a network off-highway transfer centers. This can be costly and take time. TuSimple operates both on highways and streets. These are streets that do not intersect with freeways and which have intersections at grade. TuSimple claims that the startup’s autonomous vehicles (AVs) don’t travel into residential areas and therefore don’t do last-mile deliveries. However, they can access warehouses and distribution centers more quickly. This allows startup to retrofit existing Ryder sites to be TuSimple terminals instead of building new ones like Embark.
Waymo Via will also be building its own hubs. Ryder’s fleet inspections, maintenance and roadside assistance will allow Waymo to scale these sites and maximize truck uptime.
Ryder’s diverse capabilities are used in all these use cases. This allows Ryder to see its potential and to think beyond the logistical aspects of AV. Jones stated that the company would be open to an autonomous fleet if necessary for a customer. The company also remains very involved in first and last mile delivery.
Jones stated that Ryder has many options as the AV Initiative evolves. However, Ryder’s first venture into the technology is servicing the hubs and understanding the technical requirements.
Publited Fri, 17 September 2021 at 02:42.19 (+0000).