Embark Trucks announced that carriers participating in the company’s Partner Development Program have placed a combined 14,200 reservations for Embark-equipped autonomous trucks.
These non-binding reservations cover reservations over a five-year period, securing priority access to Embark-equipped trucks commencing upon the expected 2024 commercial launch of the Embark Driver software through the end of 2028.
The interest from Embark’s fleet partners is the initial result of extensive strategic planning, operational evaluation, and autonomous commercial hauling, which Embark believes demonstrates a commitment from both Embark and its partners to deploy commercial autonomous trucks in the U.S. Sunbelt beginning in 2024, Embark officials said in a press release.
The 14,200 trucks reserved by PDP members, if purchased, represent a projected 10 billion billable Embark Driver miles over the trucks’ lifetimes. In 2024, Embark and its carrier partners plan to begin rapidly deploying the confirmed trucks on high-priority lanes across the country over time. These reservations, and the associated licensed miles, demonstrate that Embark’s commercial preparation activities today should establish a base that enables Embark to meet its early year revenue targets, Embark officials said.
Each set of reservations was sized based on the needs of individual PDP partners, using a network assessment to evaluate autonomous trucking needs. Embark and its partners analyzed billions of miles across millions of loads at the lane level to determine the incremental benefits that autonomous trucks can deliver across cost savings, speed, sustainability, and safety. By considering factors such as region of operation, lane length, frequency, and more, Embark and its partners were able to prioritize lanes that deliver an outsize benefit from conversion to automation and secure capacity for the Embark-equipped trucks necessary to fulfill this demand.
“There is a strong case for early deployment of Embark’s technology in key segments of our network, where it can be used as a tool to provide critical safety enhancements for our drivers and ultimately work towards the goal of improving the driving job,” said Dave Jackson, CEO of Knight-Swift and member of Embark’s advisory board. “Our management team has worked closely with Embark to weigh the unique benefits in speed, cost, and sustainability against the operational and technical hurdles of deployment at a lane-level, enabling Knight-Swift to accurately prioritize the network segments where this technology could deliver the most value and place reservations against this plan."
Embark has also advanced its platform-agnostic Embark Universal Interface, a set of standardized self-driving components and flexible interfaces that enable integration of the Embark Driver with different OEM platforms.
The PDP fleets placing reservations currently purchase trucks from all four of the major OEMs, including Freightliner, International, Peterbilt, and Volvo. With Embark’s EUI approach, they will continue to be able to use trucks from any of these OEMs within their autonomous fleet, ensuring greater flexibility and control over their operations.
Earlier this year, Embark announced collaborations with Nvidia, Cummins, and ZF to enhance integration of the EUI and improve safety, fuel efficiency, and performance of the self-driving system.
Embark will continue to work closely with existing carrier partners and evaluate new carriers for potential inclusion in the Partner Development Program, seeking to ensure a seamless transition to commercial deployment in 2024, company officials said.
This reservation commitment comes ahead of Embark’s planned merger with Northern Genesis 2 . Upon closing of the proposed business combination, Embark will become a publicly traded company.
Originally posted on Trucking Info