Automating With Gas: Plus And Cummins Developing Natural Gas Powered Self-Driving Trucks

Self-driving truck developer Plus has announced a new initiative with global engine manufacturer Cummins CMI -1.5% to develop “the industry’s first driver-in, supervised autonomous trucks powered by natural gas.” Plus says trucks running their Automated Driving System are more fuel efficient due to their AI-enabled fuel optimization algorithms, now expanding beyond diesel to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) engines. Cummins will contribute its engineering expertise and a suite of advanced powertrain features.

To a trucking user, CNG vehicles operate much like diesel-powered vehicles with spark-ignited internal combustion engines. The announcement notes that the Cummins CNG engines have been certified to near zero emissions, reducing smog-forming emissions by 90 percent compared to current EPA standards for nitrogen oxide air pollutants.