"I'm more excited about the supply chain enabler side of it, that's actually building some of that tech to help brokers get more efficient, help shippers get more efficient, and help carriers get more efficient."
Trucking's Future: Autonomous Drive & EV Hurdles
Navigating the future of trucking: KargoBot unveils its autonomous truck fleet, while Volta Trucks faces challenges in the electric HGV market.
The future of trucking is standing on shifting sands, with autonomous trucks rolling out on specific routes, and pioneering electric vehicle (EV) companies facing supply chain issues. KargoBot, incubated by Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi, unveiled that it now operates over 100 autonomous trucks in Inner Mongolia, with CEO Junqing Wei detailing the successful but complex formula:
- Hybrid Driverless Solution: KargoBot's Level 4 trucks drive autonomously but are 'grouped' with a human-driven leading truck, ensuring smooth operation on challenging terrains.
- Augment, Not Replace: Wei emphasized that the goal is not to wholly replace human drivers, but to enhance their capabilities.
Meanwhile, in the electric HGV sphere, Volta Trucks announced bankruptcy after their battery supplier, Proterra, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This unexpected event affected Volta's manufacturing plans and capital-raising abilities, leading to a diminished vehicle production forecast. Despite having designed the world's first 16-tonne all-electric truck and received substantial orders, such as the 1,500 from DB Schenker, Volta's journey underscores the vulnerabilities and challenges the EV market currently faces.