Argo AI, the nugget that is backed by Ford and Volkswagen, is starting operatorless autonomous vehicle operations on the streets of Miami and Austin. The start-up announced on May 17, 2022 to start these tests in two of the eight cities in which it is carrying out tests. It is in these cities that Ford, Argo AI and Lyft are focusing their efforts to deploy robot taxi services.
Transport of employees
“From day one, we set out to drive the hardest miles to drive – across multiple cities – because that’s where the density of customer demand is and where our self-driving platform develops the necessary intelligence. to make it a sustainable business”commented Bryan Salesky, the founder and CEO, in a press release.
For now, Argo AI’s driverless autonomous vehicles transport employees. But the start-up specifies that commercial applications should soon arrive. The start-up is trying to facilitate the integration of its autonomous vehicles into logistics, passenger transport or delivery services. Lyft and Walmart, for example, are testing autonomous vehicles from Argo AI.
Gatik expands its tests with Walmart
She is not the only one working on such technology. The start-up Gatik has also seduced Walmart with its autonomous trucks. The partners, who launched the first pilots in Arkansas, the historic land of the American distributor, have announced that they are expanding their tests in Kansas. This announcement was made on May 19, the day after the signing of a bill allowing the deployment of fully autonomous trucks on public roads in this Midwestern American state.
The start-up, founded in 2017, focuses not on direct-to-consumer delivery but on deliveries within a supply chain, which represent a high cost for companies. Gatik focuses exclusively on fixed and repeatable delivery routes. A choice made easier by the fact that the start-up made deliveries between a warehouse and a store.
Aurora is also expanding its tests with FedEx
Aurora, another specialist in autonomous trucks but for making trips over greater distances, is also continuing its developments. The company had announced that it had entered into a partnership with FedEx last September to transport goods on the route linking Dallas to Houston. The partners announced this week to extend their partnership to make deliveries between Fort Worth and El Paso.
Aurora claims to have carried out transport at different times of the day and under different climatic conditions. Each time the packages were transported successfully. A safety driver is obviously present on board his trucks. The autonomous driving specialist claims to have successfully traveled more than 96,000 kilometers without a safety incident.
Cruise could get even more into delivery
Cruise, the subsidiary of General Motors, specialized in autonomous driving but rather for the transport of passengers could come to play spoilsport. If the nugget has already led pilots to deliver races, in particular with Walmart, it seemed until now very largely concentrated on the transport of people and the deployment of robot taxi services. However, Bloomberg reports that Cruise could get closer to BrightDrop, the very recent division launched by General Motors which must cut across an ecosystem of electric vehicles, software and services dedicated to delivery.
Cruise and BrightDrop are working on developing an autonomous vehicle for delivery. A logical step for General Motors since it would make it possible to multiply the use cases and make R&D in this area profitable.