Electrolux has successfully transported refrigerators more than 2,400 miles in the US, using cutting-edge automated driving technology. The Electrolux brand Frigidaire has partnered with transportation and technology providers, Ryder and Embark, in an initiative to pilot autonomous trucking and explore the benefits of new technology within transportation.
As a result of this partnership, Electrolux was part of the world’s longest continuous autonomous truck trip – 306 miles – with an 18-wheeler fully loaded with appliances. During the pilot, Frigidaire-branded refrigerators traveled autonomously across four states from El Paso, Texas, to Ontario, California, four times. The driver was in the driver’s seat, actively monitoring the road and supervising the system, but was not operating the vehicle. The driver only took control of the steering wheel during mandatory stops. Eventually, full autonomous trucking will involve a “driverless” truck with minimal manual assistance needed.
“Each year in North America, we travel more than 100 million miles shipping our appliances across the US, Mexico and to Canada,” says Josh Benton, vice president, Supply Chain, at Electrolux North America.
“This pilot is an example of how we are focused on identifying innovative, digital solutions as we adapt to market changes in an efficient way. Our goal is to drive growth, improve service and add value to our end customers and consumers – and this is one area in which we can do just that.”
After the initial pilot program, Electrolux will continue participating in pilot tests in North America throughout 2018.