China seeks to improve its commercial logistics by pushing for autonomous trucks. These vehicles will supposedly help revamp the logistics and industrial sector of the country amidst the still ongoing pandemic.
The country has already launched its first self-driving commercial freight pilot project in cooperation with SF Express and Plus. As a backgrounder, Plus is a leading company that deals with self-driving truck technology. This project consists of supervised autonomous trucks with two long-haul routes from China’s Wuhan to Wuxi provinces and from Changshu to Wuhan. Each of these routes is about 900 miles long with the latter route reaching about 1,000 miles round trip.
The logistics industry around the world is undergoing a sea change driven by the explosive growth of e-commerce and demand for faster deliveries. The unmanned technology is to address the critical business issues fleets are facing today keeping their drivers happy and productive, reducing operating costs, and meeting sustainability goals.
Alongside the self-driving technology, Plus has also developed PlusDrive which is designed to keep a professional truck operator in the vehicle to supervise the autonomous driving system. This will, in turn, allow SF Express to further optimize the efficiency of its current fleet and without having to wait for the full driverless truck technology to be ready thus putting them ahead of the competition.
Uisee, another leading autonomous driving firm has also gotten in on the driverless trucking action and has already posted impressive sales growth with their company last year despite the challenging conditions that the pandemic has brought. This was done by Uisee cooperating with industry leaders in China such as Changan Minsheng logistics, FAW logistics, BASF, and Dongfeng Motor. With that said the company is already developing level 4 autonomous driving logistics capabilities with its technologies. With China pushing full steam ahead with its autonomous trucking, the rest of the world could soon follow if this new band of technology is proven to be successful.