Locomation, a leading provider of autonomous trucking technology solutions, today issued a comprehensive self-assessment to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) of the company’s approach to safe development and testing of its autonomous trucking technology. The Voluntary Safety Self-Assessment (VSSA), submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for public disclosure, outlines how Locomation’s human-in-the-loop autonomous convoying system is safe for pre-deployment testing on public roads and complies with federal and state regulations.
The VSSA covers Locomation’s on-road testing of its Autonomous Relay ConvoySM (ARC) prototype systems with a safety driver and test engineer in both vehicles. The VSSA also walks through key safety elements, our approach to addressing these elements, and how Locomation is ensuring the safety of its development and on-road testing.
“With safety as our North Star, Locomation will be the first to deploy autonomous trucking technology safely, legally, and routinely in commercial operations at scale across the United States,” said Locomation Co-founder and CEO Çetin Meriçli in the document’s introduction. “We are building our technology the right way, evaluating and addressing the impacts that success will mean for professional truck drivers, for trucking companies and industry partners, for the communities where the technology will be deployed, for our supply chain, for the environment, and for the people of this great nation.”
From the beginning, Locomation’s approach to safety has been grounded in decades of experience in autonomy. Our human-guided solution combines the superior cognitive ability of a human driver to navigate the convoy through complex roadway situations with the super-human reaction times and the controlled precision of autonomous technology to maintain tight synchronization between the two trucks. Even with our human-guided approach, there needs to be significant rigor in how Locomation engineers, manufactures, operates, and improves the ARC system. To achieve this, the company has created a five-pillar safety framework to guide design, development, validation, and operations.
Locomation’s ARC system is a human-led convoy of two trucks that are electronically tethered and equipped with Locomation’s autonomous driving technology. This Human-Guided Autonomy solution enables one driver to operate the lead truck while a second driver rests in the follower truck, allowing carriers to safely operate two trucks for 20-22 hours per day, all while remaining in compliance with the federal hours-of- service regulations. Locomation will enable carriers to deliver 2x the cargo, 2x farther, 2x faster, while reducing the per truck greenhouse gas footprint by up to 22%.
Locomation is re-engineering the world’s supply chain for autonomy with a portfolio of AV products and a suite of tools that enable our clients to implement an operating model for autonomous vehicles. Launched in 2018 by veterans of Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center, the Locomation team includes some of the world’s foremost experts in robotics technology, artificial intelligence, trucking, freight optimization, safety, and automotive.