Embark, U.S. Xpress Partner for Autonomous Transfer Point Operations
May 11, 2022
U.S. Xpress has joined the Embark Partner Development Program and plans
to add its terminals to the Embark Coverage Map. This partnership marks
a significant milestone by adding a fleet’s properties into an
autonomous truck developer’s transfer point network.
Embark pioneered the transfer point model in 2019 when the company
unveiled its first sites in Los Angeles and Phoenix. Transfer points are
used to move freight from driverless, long-haul trucks to driver-enabled
trucks for first- and last-mile delivery. Since developing the model,
Embark has conducted hundreds of hauls through these sites, refining
required transfer point features and developing process flows for
important onsite activities.
U.S. Xpress’ nationwide terminal network presents an opportunity for a
carrier to leverage its existing real estate footprint to support
efficient autonomous trucking operations. Through this partnership,
Embark and U.S. Xpress will identify priority terminals based on traffic
patterns, customer needs, and technical requirements. The companies will
start with two terminals in Sunbelt states, creating a clear path to
opening a high-volume lane for autonomous hauling.
two companies plan to co-develop an onsite operations playbook that
captures standard processes for when autonomous trucks enter U.S. Xpress
properties. Expected solutions will include gate access, onsite vehicle
movement, trailer swap procedures, inspections, data and power
management, and more. By developing these procedures now, U.S. Xpress
will be able to quickly integrate Embark-powered autonomous trucks as a
complement to professional truck drivers within its operations.
“We’ve established U.S. Xpress as a carrier leader in autonomous
trucking and this partnership is further evidence of our intention to be
an early adopter of autonomous vehicle technology,” said Eric Fuller,
President & CEO of U.S. Xpress. “Through this partnership with Embark,
we’re taking the next important step in planning and preparing our
terminal network to support executing our autonomous strategy.”
“Through our partnership with U.S. Xpress, we have identified a unique
opportunity to leverage U.S. Xpress’ existing truck terminals, unlocking
a more seamless scaling process,” said Alex Rodrigues, CEO of Embark.
“By utilizing existing truck terminals for transfer operations, Embark
autonomous trucks will be able to more easily integrate with existing
U.S. Xpress network assets such as last-mile driver capacity, parking,
and maintenance services.”