Plus.ai (www.plus.ai), a leading provider of self-driving truck technology, announced today an agreement with the Transportation Research Center (TRC), North America’s largest independent vehicle test facility and proving grounds, to conduct capability tests of Plus.ai’s self-driving system using a rigorous multi-vehicle approach. Current published standards only require a single other vehicle test, while this test program utilizes a multi-vehicle test approach to simulate complex, real-world driving conditions and breaks new ground in Level 4 commercial vehicle testing. The program is an important step to prepare Plus.ai to safely roll out the industry’s first self-driving trucks.
“Our team has been obsessing over every detail to build a safe and reliable self-driving system for trucks. Safety permeates everything we do, from software architecture, to redundant systems validation, to operator training and vehicle testing. We believe an independent party should validate a self-driving system’s road readiness using realistic, complex scenarios, much like humans have to pass driving tests in order to be licensed. We hope this becomes a model for the testing of all automated trucks in the future,” said Shawn Kerrigan, COO and co-founder, Plus.ai.
Plus.ai’s safety tests are designed and implemented by TRC and draw on TRC’s nearly 50 years of experience testing and perfecting new products for the world’s leading automotive and technology companies. The testing will evaluate the Plus.ai self-driving system’s ability to consistently handle multiple vehicle scenarios that best simulate complex, realistic driving conditions. For example, the Plus.ai driving system will have to predict how the vehicles will react to each other, which allows it to plan a safe way to control the truck in response. This is a more rigorous test of the perception, prediction, and planning systems, involving aspects that would not be tested in a single other vehicle approach. Tests will include highway driving in both free-flowing and stop-and-go traffic, construction zones, disabled vehicles, bicycles, and many other scenarios. These scenarios will be repeated for different weather conditions and a range of visibility and lighting.
“Our team has been working tirelessly to develop world class facilities, techniques, and technical expertise to evaluate automated driving systems. We are excited to welcome Plus.ai to TRC, and to execute a battery of tests using our full set of tools, and pushing the limits of commercial vehicle testing,” said Brett Roubinek, president and CEO of TRC Inc.
Plus.ai’s testing program builds upon the existing standards, protocols and safety ratings created by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), and standards developers such as the Society of Automotive Engineers. The planned testing is the first phase of a more comprehensive and ongoing test program that will build on this experience to ensure Plus.ai’s self-driving system is safe and validated for commercialization.
Plus.ai is a world leader in self-driving truck technology. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, the company was founded in 2016 by a group of serial entrepreneurs and industry veterans with over 20 years of experience in high tech and artificial intelligence. Plus.ai specializes in providing full-stack self-driving technology to enable large scale autonomous commercial transport. Plus.ai is currently working with some of the leading truck manufacturers, largest shippers, and top fleet operators.
About Transportation Research Center
Transportation Research Center, Inc., is North America’s largest, most advanced independent automotive testing facility and proving grounds as well as home to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s only Vehicle Research and Test Center. Located on 4,500 acres in East Liberty, Ohio, TRC provides the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, component makers and other transportation innovators with an advanced range of engineering, research, evaluation and testing capabilities, including a new SMARTCenter research complex specifically designed for automated and connected vehicle testing and smart highway research.