Navistar takes step toward autonomous hub transport system

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Updated Mar 15, 2024

Navistar logoNavistar announced Tuesday it is making progress in autonomous driving technology in preparation for the launch of an autonomous commercial pilot program with customers.

As a member of the TRATON Group, Navistar is involved in a new partnership with Plus to integrate its Level 4 autonomous SuperDrive technology stack into International vehicles and other branded vehicles within the TRATON Group. 

The company states it recognizes the high volume and scalability of hub-to-hub operations presents an immediate addressable market of 25 billion miles of long-distance freight on the U.S. interstate system. The company has strategically selected hub-to-hub operations as the company's core segment for commercial viability of autonomous implementation. International trucks equipped with SuperDrive by Plus are being validated with a safety driver on routes in Texas.

Navistar says customer pilots are expected within the year, with commercial deployments expanding incrementally along strategic U.S. corridors.

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"There is a strong business case for autonomous technology in the hub-to-hub distribution model, specifically in long-haul transportation where there's a compelling opportunity to increase operational efficiencies," says Tobias Glitterstam, chief strategy and transformation officer, Navistar. "Global partnership with a company like Plus allows us to leverage the technical strides they have made as we work together to focus on the commercial viability of Level 4 autonomous driving."

The company's autonomous commercial pilot program is focused on integrated autonomous solutions. Fully developed and supported by Navistar, the company says the autonomous technology solutions will be seamlessly integrated into customer operations, tailored to fit unique customer requirements.

"Our autonomous commercial pilot program is intended to be a safe, reliable option for customers to explore the deployment and integration of autonomous vehicles into their operations," adds Chet Ciesielski, vice president, On-Highway Business, Navistar. "As always, we are committed to being a trusted partner as we seek to develop solutions for autonomous driving technology that increase our customers' operating efficiencies, improve road safety, and alleviate strains in the supply chain."

The Plus Level 4 autonomous driving system SuperDrive is integrated into International trucks, providing solutions for maintenance, telematics, safety and reliability, the company adds.

"We are excited to partner with Navistar to build the next generation of transportation solutions enabled by our industry-leading autonomy technology," notes Shawn Kerrigan, COO and co-founder of Plus. "By leveraging our experience deploying our highly modular and flexible autonomous driving software across the U.S., we can help accelerate the commercialization of autonomous trucks that can easily be integrated into customer operations."

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