A ‘revolution’ is coming: CEO shares the challenges and opportunities in autonomous trucking

The CEO of a agency targeted on autonomous trucking believes big change is coming to the sector — with people and know-how working hand in hand to remodel the means items are delivered.

Speaking at CNBC’s East Tech West convention in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China, KargoBot chief Junqing Wei mentioned his enterprise is seeking to “revolut[ionize]” freight transportation.

“We consider {that a} cargo mobility revolution is going to occur in the subsequent 10 years, that logistics might be very completely different from what it is as we speak,” he added.

Wei mentioned KargoBot was incubated by the Chinese ride-sharing powerhouse Didi for the previous three years. KargoBot, he mentioned, already has greater than 100 autonomous driving vehicles on the highway, primarily on routes in Inner Mongolia, northern China.

“They have been robotically driving and additionally, they’re delivering items, they’re really doing business operations already.”

The logistics market, Wei mentioned, is value greater than $1 trillion, with KargoBot specializing in the supply of uncooked materials for producers and factories.

Opportunities and challenges

Wei shared what he realized from operations in Inner Mongolia. “There are routes with perhaps 200 kilometers, however there are over 1,000 vehicles operating on the routes, again and forth day by day,” he mentioned.

That makes the space “an excellent match for autonomous driving.” On prime of that, these routes had been in “just a little little bit of a rural space,” that means there is a decrease probability of automobiles coming throughout “very difficult pedestrian crossings or weak highway customers.”

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In observe, KargoBot’s system works by combining know-how and human intelligence.

“All these Level 4 vehicles might be operating by themselves, and we type of ‘group’ them collectively and we give the main truck a human driver … to information the entire fleet,” Wei mentioned, including that this technique was deployed in Inner Mongolia.

“That’s how we’re capable of commercially function … over 100 vehicles there,” he mentioned.

Real-world deployment got here with some large classes.

“I’ve been growing self-driving for the final 15 years,” Wei mentioned.

“But what we realized is [with] self-driving, the precise goal, the proper goal, shouldn’t be to 100% substitute human drivers or human operators,” he added.

“It’s to really … increase their functionality. I feel that is the big classes we realized, and we consider that that is the path to go.”

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