Plus (formerly Plus.ai), a leading company in self-driving truck technology, announced a new initiative with global engine manufacturer Cummins to develop the industry’s first driver-in, supervised autonomous trucks powered by natural gas.
The compressed natural gas engines provided by Cummins have been certified to near-zero emissions, reducing smog-forming emissions by 90% compared to current EPA standards for nitrogen oxide air pollutants.
Furthermore, trucks powered by Cummins and integrated with the Plus autonomous driving system are more fuel efficient due to Plus’s AI-enabled fuel optimization algorithms and Cummins powertrain features. This combination will bring to market natural gas supervised autonomous trucks in 2022.
The Plus and Cummins teams will begin work on the new initiative immediately. This project is an extension of an ongoing collaboration to develop fuel-efficient autonomous trucks. Cummins will contribute its world-class engineering expertise and a suite of advanced features to seamlessly integrate its natural gas powertrain with Plus’s supervised autonomous driving system, PlusDrive.
Integrating Cummins’ state-of-the-art natural gas-powered engines into Plus’s industry-leading supervised autonomous trucks enables a new kind of transportation solution and offers customers even greater choices to meet their emissions goals. Cummins engines can power nearly every type of vehicle and application globally, so the integration of our Natural Gas powertrains for autonomous driving applications is a logical next step to provide customers with solutions that align with their specific business requirements.—J. Michael Taylor, General Manager, Global Powertrain Integration, Cummins
Plus will begin mass production of its PlusDrive system this summer, with plans to deploy the supervised autonomous trucking system globally across the US, China, Europe and other parts of Asia. The PlusDrive solution is being piloted by some of the largest truck fleets in the world, and have demonstrated the key benefits of improved safety, reduced fuel costs, enhanced driver comfort, and reduced carbon emissions.