SAN FRANCISCO — Embark, a developer of autonomous technology for the trucking industry, has launched a partner development program with motor carriers Werner Enterprises, Mesilla Valley Transportation and Bison Transport. These partnerships will help Embark develop autonomous trucking technology that will improve speed and reliability for customers, as well as safety and work-flexibility for professional truck drivers.
Through this program, Embark plans to refine and scale the software and support services necessary to enable carriers to operate OEM trucks, equipped with Embark’s technology, on select U.S. freight lanes. At the core of Embark’s product offering is the Embark Driver, a per-mile software license that the company says can safely navigate a carrier-owned, Embark-equipped OEM truck from its origin to its destination. In addition, Embark will provide carriers with an autonomous fleet management solution, Embark Guardian, to provide remote vehicle monitoring, dispatching and access to real-time data such as weather and construction. Together, Embark Driver and Embark Guardian will enable carriers to deploy and manage a fleet of autonomous trucks within their existing networks.
“Embark’s commitment to having carriers purchase and operate our autonomous trucks, while Embark provides a software subscription and support services, is a win-win because it leverages the logistical expertise of the carrier, allows the technology to scale more quickly through existing shipper-carrier relationships and enables Embark to focus on delivering a safe and reliable autonomous truck,” said Alex Rodrigues, co-founder and CEO of Embark. ‘The learnings Embark has gained from hundreds of hauls with shippers and carriers over the years has helped us shape this new business model, and we are excited to announce it today.”
As part of the program, carriers will work alongside Embark to test and refine various facets of the technology’s overall operating model, including remote vehicle monitoring, vehicle maintenance procedures, teleoperations, AV dispatching rules and transfer hub logistics.
“While Werner has always been a first mover in the transportation industry, we continue to invest in new technology and solutions that enrich the experience for drivers, shippers, and carriers, while optimizing the entire ecosystem,” said Derek Leathers, vice chairman and CEO of Werner. “By working with Embark, we amplify the voice of our drivers and our customers, allowing them to be an important part of the conversation around the innovation that impacts the future of our industry.”
Anheuser-Busch InBev, commonly known as AB InBev, and several other Fortune 500 shippers from across key industry verticals have also joined Embark’s partner development program to advise on the integration and scaling of autonomous trucks within their supply chain networks.
In addition to preparing carriers to operate autonomous trucks, the program is engaging OEMs, real estate developers, and maintenance providers to coordinate the products and services carriers will need to operate a nationwide network of autonomous freight lanes.
As the Embark Partner Development Program progresses, Embark plans to bring additional carriers, shippers, and freight ecosystem partners into the program.