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Missouri company to deploy 62 two-truck autonomous convoys on existing freight routes

The truck tech company says that while the lead driver pilots the two-truck convoy, the follower driver will be able to "log off and rest during this time."

A Missouri-based trucking company has agreed to a multi-year pilot program with a trucking technology company that provides “human-guided autonomous convoying.”

Springfield, Missouri-based Wilson Logistics recently entered into a partnership with autonomous tech company Locomation. Locomotion says that they are the “world’s first trucking technology platform to offer human-guided autonomous convoying.”

As part of the partnership, Wilson Logistics will enter into a three year pilot program during which Locomotion will employ Autonomous Relay Convoy (ARC) technology on their trucks on existing freight routes, starting in the spring of 2020.

According to Locomotion, the ARC technology allows the lead driver in a two-truck convoy to pilot the truck while the “follower truck” operates in tandem through the use of autonomous technology.

Locomotion says that the driver of the follower truck can then “log off and rest during this time.”

The first phase of the pilot program will involve 62 two-truck convoys (124 total trucks) on 11 separate freight routes throughout the United States. The next phase of the pilot program would deploy 1000 two-truck convoys (2000 total trucks) on more than 68 freight routes nationwide.

Locomotion says that at peak deployment, the autonomous technology will result in an estimated 33% reduction in operating cost per mile, 8% reduction in fuel expense, and remove 41 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the air per truck annually.

“Our work with Locomation will mark a significant step forward for Wilson Logistics,” said Darrel Wilson, Chairman and CEO of Wilson Logistics. “Not only will we improve asset utilization and network efficiency, but we’ll make great strides in reducing our energy spend while improving safety. It also makes the truck a much better place to work for our team of professional truck drivers.”

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