GM’s BrightDrop acquires Marain’s AI software to help fleet owners lower operational costs
11 June 2022
BrightDrop, the GM business focused on decarbonizing last-mile delivery, is acquiring fleet optimization software from Marain Inc., a California-based technology startup. BrightDrop will integrate Marain’s artificial intelligence-powered fleet optimization software into BrightDrop’s ecosystem of last-mile solutions to analyze, forecast and identify multi-modal solutions for fleet customers as they plan their journey to full-fleet electrification.
Just 17 months after launching the business, and on the heels of delivering its first commercial electric vehicles to FedEx, this move signals BrightDrop’s continued growth and momentum to capture a winning share of the $250-billion last-mile delivery market.
As commercial fleets ramp up electrification efforts, there are increased challenges around operationalizing a highly complex delivery system, including interpreting data, predicting trends and controlling assets within fleets.
A single delivery today can include multiple touch points between vehicles, hubs, drop off locations, drivers and fleet managers that all must work seamlessly together to get packages to customers on time, every time. Downtime is a significant cost, and bringing Marain’s software in-house will allow BrightDrop to help fleet customers maximize uptime, improve efficiencies and keep goods flowing through the delivery ecosystem 24/7.
We’re bringing entirely new ways of doing business to the delivery market by providing a holistic, one-stop-shop portfolio of first- to last-mile solutions that allow fleet customers to do their jobs more efficiently while helping alleviate strain on the workforce, and the environment.
Part of that includes building a software platform that leverages data and simulation to demonstrate how new technologies can work for them. This integration will take our software capabilities to new heights, while continuing to deliver as promised for our customers.—Rachad Youssef, chief product officer, BrightDrop
Combining advanced AI and machine learning technologies with data analytics and powerful simulation tooling allows Marain’s fleet optimization software acquired by BrightDrop to model various complex environments and deliver better performance for customers.
Screenshot of Marain’s AI-powered fleet optimization software, which BrightDrop will integrate into its ecosystem of last-mile solutions to analyze, forecast and identify multi-modal solutions for fleet customers.
BrightDrop will integrate this technology into its software solution to model the efficiency gains that can be captured as customers adopt new technologies such as the BrightDrop Zevo and BrightDrop Trace products for these multi-segment delivery and logistics scenarios. This will enable fleet customers to better optimize their operations as they make the transition to an all-electric future. This software enhancement will also help BrightDrop customers see exactly what efficiencies are possible and how to capture them, helping drive lower operational costs and higher profitability.
Spawned from Stanford’s Autonomous Research Lab, Marain was founded by University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University alumni with deep expertise spanning AI, ML, transportation, autonomy and energy systems. Marain employees will join BrightDrop including cofounders, Scott and Colin Sheppard, who will lead the integration efforts across the data and analytics and product development teams, consistent with the company’s investments in and focus on its software-centric approach to decarbonizing last-mile deliveries.
BrightDrop Zevo 600
BrightDrop has secured more than 25,000 EV production reservations. Its flagship vehicle, the BrightDrop Zevo 600, is currently in production and on roads today with high-volume production beginning later this year. BrightDrop’s Trace e-cart is available today, and the Zevo 400 will be available late 2023.