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November 30, 2020 1:45 PM, EST

NACFE Launches New Initiative to Explore Autonomous Trucking

Interior of autonomous truck The interior of an autonomous truck. (Tony Avelar/Associated Press)

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The North American Council for Freight Efficiency announced it has begun to explore autonomous goods movement by publishing a series of online articles under the banner NACFE’s Perspective on Autonomous Trucking.

In a release, NACFE noted the “far-reaching effect” of the autonomous movement of goods — a sector in which testing, shipments (with safety engineers and a driver on board), more funding, strategic partnerships and more testing are underway and increasing.

NACFE launched its effort, found in the emerging technology section of its updated website, with three papers:

  • The Age of Automated Logistics Arises.
  • The Five Forces Driving Disruption in Trucking Today.
  • Distribution Yards — An Early Autonomous Test Bed.

Departing from its usual approach to subjects via confidence reports and guidance reports, NACFE said it is presenting thought leadership pieces to open a dialogue with the industry on autonomous trucking. Confidence reports are designed to help scale existing technology, and guidance reports focus on emerging technologies.

Roeth

Roeth

“When it comes to autonomous trucking, we are in the nascent stages of its development, and there is not enough data for us to issue a guidance report,” NACFE Executive Director Mike Roeth said in the release. “Although as we see the technology develop, we will engage a study team and explore the topic in-depth.”

In 2016, NACFE published a confidence report on two-truck platooning, which is a technology along the pathway to fully autonomous trucking. The group expects to update this report early next year. — Transport Topics

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