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TuSimple develops camera, vision system for customer fleet

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SAN DIEGO — TuSimple, a self-driving truck company, said it has developed a proprietary automotive-grade camera and vision system that will go into volume production in in the second quarter of 2019 that will be deployed on TuSimple’s autonomous customer fleet by the third quarter of 2019.

As TuSimple’s entry into hardware design, the system offers enhanced reliability of autonomous operation and is a necessary step in the company’s quest to commercialize the first driverless truck.

Featuring Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp.’s automotive complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor, the custom designed camera system allows for reliable night and low light autonomous operation. Adding nighttime operation to TuSimple’s already industry leading 1,000-meter perception system will allow fleets to increase truck utilization from an average of 50 percent, or 12 hours per day, to an average of over 80 percent.

TuSimple plans to increase its U.S. fleet to 50 trucks by June, with more to follow. The camera system designed for the company’s fully-autonomous Level 4 trucks is an important component of TuSimple’s ability to scale, especially as the company moves beyond its validation phase.

“Bringing reliable nighttime and low light operation to current perception systems in the market is an important step in the viability of autonomous driving, which is a strategic focus for us,” said Tsutomu Haruta, automotive business division deputy senior general manager, Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp. “We’re pleased that TuSimple, the leading self-driving truck company appreciates the cutting-edge technology that Sony is known for.”

TuSimple has leveraged Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp.’s automotive CMOS image sensor to create a set of camera systems for short, medium and long range that use TuSimple’s software to detect and process sharp images in real-time as far as 1,000 meters away. The system addresses complex imaging challenges such as instant light changes when entering and exiting tunnels, flaring during sunrise and sunset, and headlight glare. It also handles the LED flicker created by digital signage and traffic lights.

“Like human drivers, autonomous trucks’ perception systems are challenged by a wide variety of light conditions which are experienced every day while driving. We weren’t able to find a camera system on the market that fit our needs, so we created one,” said Dr. Xiaodi Hou, Founder, President and Chief Technology Officer, TuSimple. “The combined expertise of Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation and TuSimple has created a perception system that sees better than the human eye – night and day, rain or shine — in the most challenging driving conditions.”

This new camera system is designed to Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL)-C, which is important for the validation of safety-related electronic systems that must be highly reliable in specific driving conditions as outlined in the ISO 26262 Functional Safety standard. As the system integrator, Sunny Optics will test the product and module, as well as develop and manufacture the automotive-grade product.

Dr. Hou will discuss the new camera system as part of his upcoming presentation at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, March 19, at 3 pm. NVIDIA is an investor (through NVIDIA GPU Ventures) in TuSimple and NVIDIA DRIVE technology is a critical part of TuSimple’s self-driving trucks, which will be on display at the conference exhibition.

TuSimple’s trucks have a vision range of 1,000 meters—farther and better quality visibility than any other autonomous perception system today. TuSimple’s self-driving trucks utilize cameras, lidar and radar to see 360 degrees around for a pixel-level interpretation of the visible environment. TuSimple vehicles have three centimeters of control precision at all times—rain or shine.

With $95 million in new funding and daily autonomous trips hauling freight, the company is on its way to achieving its milestone of first driverless operations by the end of 2020 and delivering on its goal to create a safer, cleaner and more efficient trucking industry.

TuSimple officials said the company is working to transform the $800-billion U.S. trucking industry. According to McKinsey, full autonomy could reduce operating costs by about 45 percent, saving the trucking industry between $85 billion and $125 billion.

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Schneider continues to grow investment in intermodal equipment

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Schneider officials said benefits of the additional intermodal equipment includes consistent and cost-efficient shipping, decreased downtime and improved reliability, increased availability, improved service and load acceptance and enhanced safety. (Courtesy: SCHNEIDER)

GREEN BAY, Wis. —   Schneider completed its conversion to a company-owned and managed chassis fleet last year, and continues to invest in company-owned equipment including intermodal chassis, containers and tractors.

The company added more than 4,200 intermodal containers in 2018, bringing its total to 22,200 – a 24 percent increase year over year. The containers – combined with the corresponding number of company chassis to maintain a private fleet – allow Schneider to provide truck-like service in the intermodal segment. In a world of tight capacity, shippers and drivers are experiencing the benefits of Schneider’s company-owned intermodal equipment, according to Jim Filter, senior vice president and general manager of Schneider’s intermodal division.

“Investing in reliable company-owned equipment means we don’t have to rely on equipment pools and, as a result, we have offered a better experience to our customers and dray drivers,” Filter said. “With Schneider-owned chassis, drivers experience less downtime due to their easy access and low maintenance needs. Investing in the equipment space delivers a win-win for drivers and shippers.”

Filter said benefits and productivity gains that shippers and drivers are experiencing as a result of Schneider’s company-owned intermodal equipment investments include:

  • Consistent and cost-efficient shipping: By working with an asset-based intermodal provider that has new lightweight chassis, shippers can move up to 700 pounds more than the common pool chassis for a total of 45,500 pounds with a day-cab tractor. The weight of all Schneider chassis is the same, so the shipper knows how much weight it can haul with every load.
  • Increased availability: The demand for chassis in shared pools often outstrips supply, as recently experienced in the Chicago market. Schneider’s equipment increases supply and allows the company to precisely match the number of customer orders to equipment availability.
  • Decreased downtime and improved reliability: Schneider’s high-quality chassis and complete control over the maintenance of those chassis allows the company to maintain equipment, identify issues and make repairs before they turn into critical breakdowns and costly delays.
  • Improved service and load acceptance: Available and reliable chassis have already led to increased productivity, which has improved driver retention and dray capacity availability.
  • Enhanced safety: Consistent with Schneider’s No. 1 core value of Safety First, and Always, the company’s maintenance control over the assets also ensures all Schneider chassis are well maintained.

Schneider plans to continue investing in intermodal containers, chassis and tractors to continue supporting the needs of both shippers and drivers, Filter said.

For more information about shipping with Schneider Intermodal, visit www.schneider.com, email solutions@schneider.com or call 844-701-LOAD.

 

 

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Mack Trucks seeks entries for 2020 Mack calendar contest

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Mack Trucks launched its 2020 Mack Calendar Contest, which runs from April 2 to May 31, 2019. Six lucky owners of Mack® trucks will be chosen by Mack’s fans and followers to appear in next year's Mack Calendar. (Courtsey: MACK TRUCKS)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Owners of Mack trucks have the chance to once again be in the spotlight for a month courtesy of the 2020 Mack Calendar Contest.

For the fourth year running, six lucky truck owners will be chosen by Mack Trucks’ social media followers to appear in next year’s Mack Calendar. The contest runs from April 2 to May 31, 2019.

“Mack built its reputation on the hardest-working trucks and owners in the industry, and great-looking Mack trucks are always celebrated by our passionate fans,” said John Walsh, Mack Trucks vice president of marketing. “The calendar contest gives everyone a chance to express their Mack pride and vote for their favorite trucks to be featured in next year’s calendar.”

Nominations will be accepted in categories for each of Mack’s current models, including the Mack Anthem, Pinnacle, Granite, Granite MHD, LR and TerraPro, plus an additional category for Mack models which are no longer in production. All nominated trucks must be in revenue-producing service. The truck must be in routine actual use and not kept as a show truck or antique.

Mack’s fans and followers will vote on which truck they like best in each category and are allowed to cast one vote per day, per category for the duration of the contest.

Contest entrants are urged to get out the vote through their own social media channels to increase their chances of winning. Winning trucks will receive a professional photo shoot, courtesy of Mack Trucks, and will be featured in the 2020 Mack Calendar.

The Mack Calendar is eagerly anticipated each year by Bulldog aficionados and is distributed around the world.

To enter a truck or cast a vote, click here.

 

 

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Kenworth delivers tractor with 200,000th Paccar MX engine

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Kenworth, Paccar and UPS officials gather for the delivery of the 200,000th Paccar MX engine. From left are Kathie Falcone, Kenworth director of sales operations; Kevin Baney, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales & marketing; Mark Collins, UPS director of maintenance and engineering for transportation equipment; Bill Brentar  UPS senior director of maintenance and engineering for transportation equipment; Katie Guest, new truck sales, MHC Kenworth – Atlanta; Eddie Davis, MHC Kenworth vice president; Andy Manos, Kenworth national fleet service manager; and Lance Walters, plant manager, for the Paccar Engine Plant in Columbus, Mississippi. (Courtesy: KENWORTH TRUCK CO.)

COLUMBUS, Miss. —  The 200,000th Paccar MX engine produced for the North American market at the Paccar Engine Co.’s engine plant in Columbus, Mississippi, was celebrated recently during a special presentation to UPS. The milestone engine is a Paccar MX-13 was installed in a Kenworth T680 Day Cab going into service in UPS regional haul operations.

“It was fitting to recognize UPS with the 200,000th Paccar MX series engine. We have established an excellent collaboration with UPS over the years, aided by the strong support of MHC Kenworth – Atlanta and the Paccar Columbus engine plant,” said Mike Dozier, Kenworth general manager and Paccar vice president. “Paccar MX engines are known for outstanding fuel efficiency, exceptional reliability and durability, low ownership cost, high horsepower and torque ratings, and quiet operation. These important attributes provide tangible benefits to UPS and all our customers operating Paccar MX engines.”

“We appreciate the selection of UPS to receive the milestone 200,000th Paccar MX engine for installation in our newest Kenworth T680. Our Kenworth T680s equipped with Paccar MX engines are performing well in UPS operations throughout the United States,” said Bill Brentar, UPS Senior Director of Maintenance and Engineering for Transportation Equipment at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. “UPS maintains a productive working relationship with Kenworth and MHC Kenworth – Atlanta, and we look forward to our continued mutual success.”

UPS purchased its first Kenworth trucks with Paccar MX engines from MHC Kenworth – Atlanta in 2012. Today, UPS operates more than 3,000 Kenworth T680s with the Paccar MX-13 engine.

“Our collaboration with UPS is very important. UPS further optimized the Paccar MX-13 engine’s benefits by also making the Paccar 12-speed automated transmission standard for its T680s, beginning with last year’s 700-truck order of Kenworth’s on-highway flagship,” said Eddie Davis, MHC Kenworth vice president.

During the special ceremony, Kevin Baney, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing, presented a special commemorative plaque to Brentar and Mark Collins, UPS director of maintenance and engineering for transportation equipment. Also participating were MHC Kenworth’s Eddie Davis, and Katie Guest, new truck sales, MHC Kenworth – Atlanta; Lance Walters, plant manager for the Paccar Engine Plant in Columbus, Mississippi; Kathie Falcone, Kenwoth director of sales operations; and Andy Manos, Kenworth national fleet service manager.

The Paccar MX engine series is comprised of two engines. The 12.9-liter Paccar MX-13 engine provides efficiency and flexibility together into one, high-performance solution, and is available with ratings of 405 to 510 hp and 1,450 to 1,850 lb-ft of torque. The 10.8-liter Paccar MX-11 engine features superior performance, powerful and lightweight design, and offers ratings of 355 to 430 hp and 1,250 to 1,650 lb-ft of torque.

Both the Paccar MX-13 and Paccar MX-11 offer a B10 design life of one million miles in line haul applications. This means 90 percent of Paccar Engines will log up to one million miles without a major overhaul.

The Columbus factory began producing Paccar advanced diesel engines in 2010. Located on a 400-acre site in the Golden Triangle Industrial Park, the 450,000-square-foot factory employs more than 600 people, and produces 160 engines each day of operation, according to plant manager Walters. The plant has been a zero-waste-to-landfill facility since it was opened, and nearly 90 percent of material arrives at the plant in returnable containers.

“Employees are critical to the plant’s success with the quality, innovation, technology and care they build into every Paccar MX engine produced here,” Walters said.

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