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Werner plans to double its AV truck pilot partners

Werner plans to double its AV truck pilot partners


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Werner Enterprises is considering self-driving truck technology and its potential use on roads, but potential adoption and transition will not be rapid, company executives said.

Currently, there is less competition due to a limited number of companies, which could result in higher prices for AVs in the early days of technology deployment, Chad Dittberner, SVP of vans and expedited, said in a May 2 interview. He spoke at

Even if all trucking companies and truck owners decided to buy self-driving trucks, it would take 15 years to replace all the trucks currently on the road, he said.

“We know that the light-switching moment is not going to happen,” said Ditburner, who is also a member of Kodiak's industry advisory board. “I think we will ultimately decide to bring some products out, but implementation will be very It's going to be very slow,” he said. .

The Omaha, Nebraska-based airline is considering how different self-driving technologies compare and plans to add two more AV companies later this year and double its existing pilot partners. Ditburner said the company plans to do so.

Current testing includes Aurora Innovation in Texas and Kodiak Robotics from Texas to Georgia.

Werner also connected with drivers working on this issue through an innovation-themed podcast, talked about various new technologies, and reassured them that he could continue his career with him.

Jill Samuelson, vice president of marketing and communications, believes this is a channel that will help inform our professional drivers and give them a deeper understanding of what we do as a company. Said to be one.

He mentioned how the Werners Innovation Series for Drivers looked at a variety of technologies, not just AVs, putting the company at the forefront of new tools.

The company has a history of such initiatives, introducing ELDs in 1998, using machine learning to provide real-time feedback on driving behavior, and launching an innovation and technology initiative called Werner EDGE in 2020. started.

When it comes to AVs, Ditburner has spent the past few months riding in self-driving trucks himself and seeing the advances technology companies are making to make their trucks safer.

The ultimate goal is a truck that never causes an accident, he said, and that's the same goal we have for drivers today.

Companies expect to operate unmanned, self-driving trucks in Texas this year to demonstrate that self-driving trucks can operate safely on public roads.

But self-driving-capable trucks may not become a reality until around 2027, Dittberner said.

Keeping trucks up and running and driving safely for many miles is what we really want to understand today, he said. This echoes what he said on his December podcast for drivers. “Like any technology, we need to start understanding it.”




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