Transurban has today announced a partnership with Plus, a global Silicon Valley-based autonomous driving software company, to advance our automated freight program.
The partnership will build on the success of our first self-driving truck trial on CityLink and the Monash Freeway last year, to explore how Plus’s Level 4 autonomous driving technology, combined with smart road infrastructure, could help make trucking safer, more efficient, and more sustainable in Australia.
Countries around the world are starting to explore the benefits of self-driving trucks on public motorways, and the combination of global and local expertise that enables smart roads to communicate with self-driving trucks sets Victoria up to be an international leader in this space.
With road freight projected to grow steadily in the coming decades, self-driving trucks have the potential to transform the freight industry by moving more goods, more quickly, and more sustainably. This will also deliver positive economic and social outcomes for consumers, motorists and governments by reducing congestion and improving road safety, while helping to address the shortage of truck drivers.
Transurban CEO, Scott Charlton, says ‘This partnership will support long-term opportunities for automated freight, including potential benefits to reduce congestion and improve road safety and traffic flow, and is a continuation of Transurban’s work in this area.’
‘Automated transport technologies are going to transform the way we move goods around cities, and with vital connections between ports and other freight hubs, our roads offer ideal conditions to facilitate this new technology. ‘
Starting in 2017, our comprehensive connected and autonomous testing program has worked with governments and industry to roll out 11 successful trials of fully and partially automated vehicles on motorways across Australia and North America to test how they respond to road infrastructure.
Transurban’s successful 2022 trial was the first time in Australia a highly automated self-driving truck was tested in live traffic conditions on public motorways.
The partnership between Transurban and Plus will leverage Plus’s state-of-the-art self-driving software and global commercial deployment experience, including its work with commercial vehicle manufacturer IVECO to co-develop self-driving trucks for Europe. Highly automated trucks enabled by Plus’s technology are already delivering freight in the U.S. for world-class fleets and being tested on public roads in Germany with IVECO.
Plus’s self-driving software uses the latest advances in generative AI, machine learning, computer vision, and other state-of-the-art algorithms to empower vehicles with superhuman awareness and control. Integrated with advanced lidar, radar, and camera sensors, Plus’s software can detect and precisely track objects, predict their movement, and then safely manoeuvre the vehicle.