While high-level autonomous vehicles are still a few years off, that isn't stopping some companies from developing new technology to make them safer on the roads. Take Goodyear, for example. The tire company recently announced a strategic collaboration with Plus, a global provider of self-driving truck technology. Their goal? To provide optimized, autonomous trucking solutions that elevate the intelligent and connected transformation of the logistics industry.
Through the collaboration, Goodyear will utilize their full suite of services, including connected tires, to enhance the efficiency and safety of trucks powered by Plus's Level 4 autonomous driving technology. For reference, Level 4 autonomous driving is very close to self-driving. Human interaction is effectively no longer required, but a driver can still override the system if needed.
The two companies will explore how Plus’s autonomous driving system can incorporate feedback from Goodyear’s connected tires to improve fuel economy. Furthermore, integrating Goodyear's intelligent tires with the autonomous driving system can also improve the vehicle's overall performance in severe weather and extreme road conditions.
“Tires are the only thing on a vehicle that touches the ground, and it’s this critical position that can help us enable future mobility solutions like autonomous transportation. With our leadership in products and innovation, Goodyear is supporting efficient fleet operations and is pleased to drive more possibilities for the logistics industry with Plus," said Chris Helsel, SVP Global Operations & CTO of Goodyear.
Currently, Plus is already deploying its driver-in autonomous driving solution, Plus Drive, to customers. Soon, it is expected to start production of the FAW J7 L3 truck (First Automobile Works) powered by PlusDrive in the third quarter of 2021.