CUPERTINO, Calif. — Autonomous truck technology developer Plus is partnering with Good Machine venture studio in a pilot project to transport equipment used in sustainability efforts. Supported by Schmidt Futures, Good Machine is a venture studio that works to address socio-ecological issues.
As part of the pilot program, Plus’s automated trucks will help transport equipment used for Good Machine’s sustainability efforts to address wildfires, food insecurity, and illicit wildlife poaching and fishing.
The partnership kicked off in mid-June, with Plus’s autonomous truck hauling equipment from Winnemucca, Nevada, to San Francisco to be used for a wildfire-detection project in California. The wildfire detection project aims to use stratospheric balloon technology to detect fires early and report them to relevant authorities to help reduce catastrophic damage.
Additional hauls will take place over the next year of the pilot program.
According to a statement released by Pilot and Good Machine, a key benefit of using semitrucks equipped with Plus’s autonomous driving tech is a 10% reduction in fuel consumption (compared to the most efficient driver), resulting in an equal decrease in carbon emissions.
“Sustainability is part of the core mission for both Plus and Good Machine,” said Shawn Kerrigan, COO and co-founder of Plus. “By joining forces, we are creating a win-win-win for our companies and the environment. Plus is delighted to serve as an enabler of Good Machine’s inspiring sustainability efforts by using our fuel-efficient autonomous trucks to transport the equipment and supplies needed to launch these projects,”
Good Machine has a broad portfolio of projects addressing global issues caused by climate change and marine pollution. ReefGen, an underwater planting robot, is being used to revive marine ecosystems and coral tourism around the world. Fresure is a shipping container outfitted with solar panel energy to keep perishable foods cold during handling and storage, which reduces post-harvest losses and increases the available food supply to address food insecurity.
Good Machine and its portfolio companies work with a number of partners, including Johns Hopkins University, Minderoo Foundation, National Science Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, Schmidt Futures, Wildlife Conservation Society, WorldFish and others.
“At Good Machine, we believe that solutions to the world’s most pressing problems need to be inventive, sustainable, and scalable,” said David Solomon, CEO of Good Machine. “We are excited to collaborate with a mission-aligned partner in Plus that is commercializing a sustainable commercial transportation solution which reduces the carbon footprint of our shipping needs.”