Self-driving car technology has the potential to change the industry — in fact, it already has it,media reported. Einride, which is based in Stockholm, Sweden, has raised more than $32 million and will use it for the development of freight systems. Alphabet’s Waymo, meanwhile, has deployed a commercial robotic taxi service in Phoenix, Arizona.
As for Outrider, it wants to do what Waymo does for taxi ingress and Einride for trucks for yard trucks. The company, founded in 2017 and headquartered in Golden, Colorado, aims to automate vehicle movement shipping in freight hubs, reducing costs and improving safety. Recently, it received $53 million from the NEA-led Seed Fund and the 8VC-led Round A financing. Outrider also revealed that it is conducting pilot tests with Georgia-Pacific, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of toilet paper, pulp and paper, with four Fortune 200 companies.
Outrider does not own or operate vehicles, but rather provides a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for customer-owned fully automated and semi-automated freight and transportation fleets and a team of technicians who remotely monitor the processes of these fleets. Its stack handles the logistics center responsible for autonomous distribution farm operations. Typically, this involves moving the trailer back and forth around the yard and connecting it to the loading dock, hooking and unloading the trailer, connecting and disconnecting the trailer brake lines, and monitoring the trailer position.
Outrider claims that computer-based vehicles, designed by its software, have the capability of up to four levels of self-driving, which the Society of Automotive Engineers defines in most cases as a fully autonomous model that goes beyond not only efficiency and safety standards, but also stringent environmental standards. While Outrider did not release further details, it said its three-way systems, including management engines, yard trucks and site infrastructure mentioned above, could be used with many of the supply chain software already used by large enterprises.
Outrider is addressing a market that is almost unmatched in terms of shipments. The market for self-driving trucks, which is expected to reach 6,700 vehicles after a total of $54.23 billion in 2019, will save the logistics and shipping industry $70 billion a year while increasing productivity by 30 percent. In addition to cost savings, it also solves the problem of lack of human resources
It is understood that in order to successfully build the solution, Outrider has assembled a team of 75 professionals, 50 of whom are from Nvidia, Tesla, iRobot, Lockheed Martin, General Motors’ Cruise Automation, the U.S. Armed Forces, Carnegie Mellon University, Engineers at Georgia Tech, Purdue University, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University.