Autonomous & Self-Driving Vehicle News: Waymo, Cruise, IVECO, Plus, Local Motors & RapidFlight

Along with cone protests against Waymo and Cruise in San Francisco, other autnomous news include IVECO, Plus, Local Motors and RapidFlight.

IVECO & Plus Deal

IVECO, the commercial vehicle brand of Iveco Group (MI:IVG), and Plus announced today that the IVECO S-Way truck equipped with PlusDrive, Plus’s enhanced driver-assist solution based on its open autonomy platform, has started operating on public roads in Germany. The milestone follows a rigorous testing and validation process including extensive closed-course testing, validation of previously collected public road data and in-depth training for the test drivers on the advanced safety features of the truck. In addition, TÜV SÜD tested the functional safety of the safety concept for public road testing. The collection of expansive real-world data during this important phase of public road testing will prepare the driver-in automated truck for future industrialization.

“By making trucking safer, easier, and more sustainable, the new generation of powerful AI-based predictive safety technology like PlusDrive can help reduce the risk of accidents, improve fuel economy, enhance driver retention and ease truck driver shortage across Europe. We are excited to enter this next phase of our partnership with Plus, and demonstrate the increasing maturity of our IVECO S-Way with PlusDrive through public road testing and commercial operations,” said Marco Liccardo, Chief Technology & Digital Officer, Iveco Group.

Equipped with state-of-the art, AI-based autonomous driving software and advanced sensors including lidars, radars, and cameras, PlusDrive provides drivers with superhuman awareness of the vehicle’s surroundings. Public road testing will continue in Germany over the next several months and expand to Austria, France, Italy, and Switzerland so that real-world data can be collected from the diverse roadways and driving conditions across the region. The testing will also demonstrate that PlusDrive can safely and automatically handle driver-supervised maneuvers, including lane centering, cut-ins, lane merges, driver initiated or system suggested lane changes, traffic jam assist, and nudging.

Shawn Kerrigan, COO and Co-founder at Plus, said: “We are proud of the hard work that the Iveco and Plus teams have poured into getting this innovative driving solution on public roads for testing. Some of the world’s largest fleets already use PlusDrive to deliver commercial freight. The sooner we can make this commercial product available to more fleets, the bigger impact we can have.”

Local Motors IP to RapidFlight

RapidFlight, an unmanned aircraft manufacturing company headquartered in Virginia, proudly announced the successful acquisition of the intellectual property (IP) portfolio of Local Motors. This strategic move underscores RapidFlight’s unwavering commitment to deploying additive manufacturing (AM) technologies to meet its national security customers needs. By harnessing the power of 3D printing and other AM techniques, RapidFlight delivers superior-quality unmanned aircraft systems that surpass industry standards in terms of time-to-market and scalability.

Local Motors was an American automobile manufacturing company founded in 2007 by John B. Rogers Jr. based out of Phoenix, Arizona. A pioneer in the use of large format additive manufacturing technologies, the company had successfully built large scale transportation vehicles and autonomous buses such as the Olli™. Along the way, Local Motors developed a significant intellectual property portfolio while contributing significant advancements in affordable and practical commercial deployments of AM technologies.