USA: CR England pilots self-driving trucks

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: CR England is using self driving trucks on a contract with Tyson Foods to haul refrigerated freight. Kodiak Robotics is providing the self-driving trucks and CR England the refrigerated trailers. Safety drivers will be in the trucks in the initial stages of the pilot.

Testing by Kodiak indicates that self-driving trucks provide increased safety and reliability. In an industry where there is a shortage of truck drivers, autonomous trucks can be a huge benefit, it says.

“Tyson Foods is pursuing the leading edge of technology in all aspects of our business, especially in transportation,” said Patrick Simmons, vice president of transportation, Tyson Foods. “Autonomous trucks are just one piece of the puzzle in this innovation journey to use technology to operate more efficiently and to help ensure our transportation loads are delivered in a timely fashion.”

CR England also joined Kodiak’s Partner Deployment Program, which helps carriers establish autonomous freight operations and integrate the Kodiak Driver, Kodiak’s self-driving system, into their fleet. Integrating self-driving trucks into CR England’s fleet will introduce a host of environmental and other benefits, including improved safety, reduced fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions.

“One of the categories where CR England is a leader is in perishable foods, which require the safest, most reliable, on-time delivery possible. Kodiak’s proven performance and commitment to customer success makes it a great partner to help us introduce autonomous service into our operations,” said Chad England, chief executive, CR England. “Working with Kodiak enables us to better understand how autonomous vehicles fit into our fleet of the future, while continuing to deliver high quality service and value to great customers like Tyson. By employing self-driving trucks, we can increase capacity and expedite deliveries without sacrificing customer service, as our valued drivers will take over to interface with customers and consignees at either end of the load. Our intent is to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for customers, whether they need their freight moved autonomously or not.”

Kodiak says self-driving trucks provide increased safety and reliability and in an industry where there is a shortage of truck drivers, a huge benefit

CR England is also collaborating with Daimler truck subsidiary Torc Robotics on an autonomous truck pilot project. The project involves CR England’s temperature-controlled loads and Torc’s fleet of Level 4 autonomous test trucks for long-haul journeys. The companies say that information from the pilot will help guide the development and ongoing commercialisation of self-driving trucks for long-haul applications. Initial planning will begin mid-2023, with on-road tests soon after.

“Torc is thrilled to be partnering with CR England to better improve long-haul trucking safety for one of the premium service providers and largest refrigerated carriers in the nation,” said Peter Vaughan Schmidt, chief executive, Torc Robotics. “The data derived from the pilot will contribute to our safety and validation efforts and use cases for autonomous trucking.”

Chad England, chief executive, CR England, said. “We believe this innovation will eventually provide the ability to expand our network safely, with high levels of service to our customers, all while enhancing the quality of existing driver jobs. Specifically, by adding autonomous lanes to our network, we can expand our customer offerings and create more structured jobs for drivers at both ends of autonomous runs.”