PITTSBURGH and SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Locomation, a provider of autonomous trucking technology, announced Sept. 24 that it has received the world’s first autonomous truck purchase order from Missouri-based Wilson Logistics.
Under the terms of the deal, a minimum of 1,120 Wilson Logistics tractors are to be equipped with Locomation’s Autonomous Relay Convoy (ARCTM) technology, with the first units delivered in early 2022. Additionally, the deal amends the commercial agreement between the two companies to extend through 2028.
“We understand the importance of autonomous vehicle technology to the future of Wilson Logistics, and choosing our AV (automated vehicle) partner has been a deliberate process,” said Darrel Wilson, founder and CEO of Wilson Logistics.
“In Locomation we see the most viable path to safe, rapid and broad commercialization, and we’re proud to make this purchase commitment,” Wilson added. “Locomation delivers both the technology and the implementation methods required to enable Wilson Logistics to realize our strategic plans for profitable growth through technology.”
The agreement follows a successful pilot program with between Locomation and Wilson Logistics this summer that included two Locomation trucks hauling Wilson Logistics trailers to deploy freight as an ARCTM on a 420-mile-long route from Portland, Oregon to Nampa, Idaho. ARCTM allows one driver to pilot a lead truck, which is equipped with technology augmentation, while a follower truck operates in tandem through Locomation’s fully autonomous system.
“Working with the Wilson Logistics team, we defined road segments to maximize asset utilization by capitalizing on freight density in each lane, which enables shippers and carriers to substantially increase their use of available capacity,” explained Tom Kroswek, head of business development at Locomation. “We then used our proprietary analysis methods to identify opportunities to optimize pricing to maximize yield per mile. Locomation’s unique ability to help our clients improve both yield and utilization is truly the holy grail in trucking. Of the 68 original high-value ARCTM segments we identified, Wilson’s choice to now fill 37 of those lanes is a ringing endorsement of our capabilities.”
At full commercialization, Locomation’s ARCTM technology is expected to produce an estimated 30% reduction in operating cost per mile, including 8% reduction in fuel consumption, and remove over 40 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the air per convoy annually.
“Wilson Logistics is a leader in the industry, with significant focus on driver quality of life, overall fleet safety and operational excellence. This purchase order is just the beginning of a significant leap toward autonomous technology for the entire trucking sector,” said Çetin Meriçli, CEO and co-founder of Locomation. “Wilson Logistics has been an excellent partner, and their multi-year commitment to Locomation demonstrates the strong industry validation of our autonomous technology in freight transportation.”