HP embarks on autonomous trucking tests

  • May 18, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Hewlett-Packard is testing and deploying autonomous trucking technology from California-based Embark Trucks.

HP is joining Embark’s PDP partner development programme to test and deploy autonomous freight within its carrier network. HP will test self-driving truck technology in a real-world commercial setting, as well as providing data and feedback to Embark as it expands the PDP.

The first autonomous freight deliveries with Embark will see HP moving printers from Los Angeles, California, to Phoenix, Arizona.

The structure of HP’s network, with relatively long hauls departing from a select set of distribution and manufacturing facilities, makes HP particularly well-suited to capture the value of autonomous freight. These long hauls have the ability to benefit from the increased speed, sustainability and operational efficiency unlocked by round-the-clock on-highway operations.

“As our partner development programme grows, we’re thrilled to bring storied high-tech companies like HP on board,” said Alex Rodrigues, CEO of Embark. “Embark is excited to work with HP to prepare their carrier network to operate Embark self-driving trucks. The upfront time invested in PDP will provide HP a meaningful head-start when it comes time to scale self-driving technology throughout their logistics operations. Self-driving freight will inevitably help large shippers like HP bring additional speed and efficiency into their supply chains.”

The PDP is an industry ecosystem that brings carriers and shippers together to deploy autonomous freight, improve speed and reliability for customers, and maintain high safety standards. To date, shippers including AB Inbev and national carriers such as Werner, Bison Transport and Mesilla Valley Transportation have joined the PDP to leverage the early benefits provided by autonomous freight.

“HP is driving towards net-zero carbon emissions across our entire value chain by 2040,” said Jessica Kipp, global head of worldwide logistics for HP. “Transportation and logistics have an important role to play, and we’re excited to pilot new technologies with Embark that, when combined with electric and alternative fuel vehicles, have the potential to create a far more sustainable fleet and logistics networks than ever before.”

Embark, a San Francisco-based developer of self-driving trucks, is working to build a future where roads are safer, drivers work closer to their homes and families, and goods move faster and are cheaper. Embark is working with shippers and carriers to bring this vision to life through a model that combines the consistency of automation for long-haul, on-highway routes, with human adaptability for off-highway, short-haul driving. Embark was founded in 2016 and is backed by investors including Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, DCVC and Y Combinator.