Look Ma, No Hands

Look Ma, No Hands

As autonomous driving gains some traction, transportation companies are building partnerships to bring self-driving trucks from concept to reality.

To that end, Ascend, a truckload carrier that offers middle-mile supply chain solutions, partnered with Volvo Autonomous Solutions (VAS) to test autonomous, long distance linehaul options.

As part of the pilot, Ascend will pick up customer loads and transport them to VAS hubs in Dallas and Houston. From there, VAS will move loads to Ascend destination hubs, where drivers will pick them up for delivery to final destinations.

“In the future, the VAS transportation solution could combine the service and transit time benefits afforded by point-to-point truckload movements with the linehaul advantages of intermodal rail transportation,” says Michael McLary, CEO of Ascend.

Potential benefits of autonomous driving include increased safety, faster delivery schedules that can take advantage of 24/7 operation, and increased fuel optimization due to computer-guided synchronization and vehicle operation optimization, according to Ascend.