Locomation convoy plan doubles down on autonomous trucking challenge

Autonomous trucking startup Locomation is pursuing with two Class 8 trucks what others are trying to accomplish with one: ultimately operating without a driver in either cab.

The 3-year-old company is based in Pittsburgh, home of Carnegie Mellon University, a launch point for many of the brightest minds in robot cars and trucks. Founder Cetin Mericli is one of that group…

TuSimple (NASDAQ: TSP) and other Level 4 high-autonomy competitors are focused on robot trucks that eventually will have no human driver in the cab. Locomation is literally doubling down on that, starting with its human-guided autonomous convoy.

The company eschews the term platooning, which has been used for decades to describe leader-follower trucking, Locomation expects to launch the first of four phases — 250 pairs of trucks and drivers — in 2022, with 60,000 Locomation-equipped trucks by 2025.