Embark Trucks, a leading developer of autonomous technology for the trucking industry, has unveiled a roadmap to develop and deploy technology to allow trucks to autonomously operate in snowy conditions.
Autonomous trucking companies tend to avoid operating in snowy climates, as the vehicles’ sensors are often unable to reliably navigate snowy roads. Indeed, many autonomous driving software relies on HD maps that fail in snowy conditions because the sensed environment no longer closely matches the map after snowfall.
However, as the capability to safely drive in snowy conditions is necessary for continuous and efficient supply chains, Embark is developing a system that uses its Vision Map Fusion (VMF) technology. This system is set to enable trucks to autonomously navigate snowy conditions by the end of winter 2022.
Embark’s VMF technology allows Embark-equipped autonomous trucks to continue operations when the surrounding terrain has been altered by snowfall. To ensure this technology can be used safely in snowy conditions, Embark has been collecting winter road data to develop enhanced perception capabilities using VMF.
“VMF is one of the main technology differentiators for Embark, designed specifically for trucks, and allowing us to operate in even the most challenging road conditions. With enhancements to our perception stack, our world-class engineering team will achieve another industry-first technology milestone using VMF. Not only is Embark executing against its existing commercialisation timeline, but we’re also going above and beyond by developing technology like this to prepare for long-term deployments and growth.”
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