While fully autonomous long-haul driving may be a long way off, Locomation is offering an autonomous truck/human driver hybrid convoy solution, and aims to be the first to deliver fully autonomous trucks. In this interview our CEO, Dr Çetin Meriçli, talks to Auto Futures about how Locomation works.
While at Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), tech companies were hiring away Meriçli’s colleagues. “Tech companies were poaching all my friends. Our founders did not go because we thought about autonomous driving from a different angle,” says Meriçli
Instead, he co-founded the Pittsburgh-based company with four Carnegie Mellon NREC faculty, engineers, researchers and scientists.
“We have experience in robotics from defence systems and all different aspects of autonomy. We went after the problem and started a new type of company. Locomation is designed to make money from the start.”
“We were looking at the future. Other autonomous companies were looking at moving people. We were seeing fewer people going places. We were looking at the transportation of goods. Then the pandemic happened. And it was obvious to everyone that freight was the biggest part needed for autonomy and middle-mile. But the way to do it is to start with human-guided convoys,” he says.