Chi­nese self-driv­ing startup is on track

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - Front Page -

A CHI­NESE STARTUP AIM­ING TO CRE­ATE A na­tion­wide freight net­work of self-driv­ing trucks, says it has achieved two mile­stones – rais­ing $US100mil­lion back­ing and car­ry­ing out suc­cess­ful semi-au­tonomous tri­als.

In­cep­tio Tech­nol­ogy tested its au­tonomous driv­ing op­er­a­tions in as­so­ci­a­tion with Dongfeng Trucks – its sys­tems mon­i­tor­ing the sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment and mak­ing “some de­ci­sions”… but with a hu­man driver “still re­quired.”

It terms the tri­als “a key mile­stone” and “a solid step” to­wards vol­ume pro­duc­tion of Level 3 (semi-au­tonomous) trucks, which it in­tends to start man­u­fac­tur­ing by the end of 2021.

It has an end-to-end busi­ness model, which sees it plan­ning to be­gin op­er­at­ing a truck­ing net­work us­ing its self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy in 2022.

In­cep­tio CFO Jie­long Zhang says the com­pany is on sched­ule with its plans, “de­spite un­prece­dented dif­fi­cul­ties” due to the COVID-19 pan­demic.

“The world is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing changes brought on by dis­rup­tive tech­nol­ogy in the scale never seen be­fore, whilst the world is also fac­ing chal­lenges on mul­ti­ple fronts.”

Last year it added an R&D cen­tre in Cal­i­for­nia to its Chi­nese op­er­a­tions and be­gan joint de­vel­op­ment projects with a num­ber of Chi­nese truck­mak­ers – In­cep­tio de­vel­op­ing a full suite of au­tonomous soft­ware and the on­board com­put­ing plat­form, while the OEMs fo­cused on engi­neer­ing the plat­form for its self-driv­ing sys­tem.

The test­ing of the In­cep­tio/Dongfeng truck be­gan in March this year and the truckmaker’s deputy GM Wei Wang says the JV will “pro­vide highly re­li­able and ef­fi­cient smart lo­gis­tics so­lu­tions to our cus­tomers.”

In­cep­tio founder and CEO Ju­lian Ma says the com­pany will “con­tinue to pur­sue re­lent­lessly the in­te­gra­tion and in­no­va­tion in au­tonomous driv­ing and au­to­mo­tive engi­neer­ing.

“We are con­fi­dent to be the first to mass-pro­duce au­tonomous trucks and com­mer­cialise the au­tonomous driv­ing tech­nolo­gies in China.”

T&D

An In­cep­tio/Dongfeng trac­tor unit has suc­cess­fully com­pleted tri­als, run­ning semi-au­tonomously.....with a driver “still re­quired”

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