It’s easy to be detracted by the independent auto assiduity, as candescent, self-driving vehicles from Waymo, Tesla, GM, and others navigate without( important) moral guidance.
Still, as swank as this may be, autonomy is also shaking up the trucking assiduity in an inversely profound way. They might not capture as numerous captions, or find themselves the stars of the world’s most glamorous motor shows. But they’re being worked on by multitudinous companies right now — some are decades-old automakers, others are brand new startups.
Self-Driving Truck Technology
Self-driving trucks have been around since the early 1900s, however, they were not able to operate without human intervention until recently. Today, self-driving technology is being developed and tested by many different companies and research institutions. Many believe that self-driving trucks will become commonplace in our daily lives in the near future.
Waymo is a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc., Waymo was founded in 2009 by John Krafcik, who previously worked at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute. In 2014, the company launched its first commercial product, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan equipped with a fleet of self-driving vehicles.
Otto is a self-driving truck startup based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 2016, the company is led by Anthony Levandowski, who previously cofounded the autonomous vehicle company known as Google’s “Project Chauffeur.” Otto raised $680 million in funding from investors including General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., SoftBank Group Corp., and others.
Aurora Innovation is a Canadian technology company that develops self-driving trucks. The company was founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur Marc Lalonde, who formerly held executive positions at BlackBerry Ltd. and Nortel Networks. Aurora Innovation received $75 million in Series B financing from Daimler AG, BMW Group, Ford Motor Company, and others.
Daimler Trucks North America
Daimler Trucks North American (DTNA) is a subsidiary of German automotive manufacturer Daimler AG. DTNA was founded in 1997 as Freightliner Corporation and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG in 1999. In 2015, the company changed its name to Daimler Trucks Norge AS, and then again to Daimler Trucken GmbH & Co KG in 2016.
“Daimler Trucks’ and Torc’s integrated self driving trucks will be designed for the hub to hub applications, highway, especially for long distance, monotonous transport between distribution centers,” the Daimler spokesperson said.
Embark Technologies is a San Francisco-based self-driving truck startup. Founded in 2015, the company is headed by CEO Steve Burns, who previously worked at Tesla Motors Inc. and Delphi Automotive PLC. Embark Technologies raised $100 million in funding from investors like Khosla Ventures, Greycroft Partners, and others.
Argo AI is a self-driving tech company based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Founded in 2017, the company is led by CEO Bryan Salesky, who previously worked at Uber Technologies Inc. and Carnegie Mellon University. Argo AI raised $120 million in funding from investors such as GV, Lux Capital, and others.
Nuro is a self-driving car startup based out of Mountain View, California. Founded in 2012, the company is led me CEO Karl Iagnemma, who previously worked at Apple Inc. and Stanford University. Nuro raised $230 million in funding from investors, including Greylock Partners, GM Cruise, and Softbank Group Corp.
Optimus Ride is a self-driving shuttle service based out of Toronto, Canada. Founded in 2016 by CEO Michael Amoore, Optimus Ride is currently operating in downtown Toronto. The company is led by CTO David Harris, who previously worked at Google X and Carnegie Mellon University. Optimus Ride raised $50 million in funding from investors.