Locomotion Video Transcript
Hello and welcome to this Freight Tech update I’m Anthony Smith lead economist here at freight waves and today we’re talking about how local nations autonomous truck technology reduces emissions and who better to join me than the VP of Policy and Strategy Finch Fulton, Finch thanks so much for joining us today.
Yeah, thanks for having me here
So just jumping into it Finch can you tell us about how Locomation’s autonomous truck technology impacts the environment?
Yeah well today’s a big day for us. We just announced the findings of a comprehensive independent third party environmental impact evaluation that found that Locomation’s arc systems will dramatically reduce the greenhouse gas footprint, fuel consumption and operating costs of transporting goods by truck and this is a big deal.
For those that aren’t familiar with our model. Locomation uses a human-driven lead truck followed by a second truck that operates autonomously with the second driver off-duty in the sleeper berth. The two trucks are able to change positions every eight hours or so and in this way they’re able to convoy for up to 22 hours a day. What this means is a reduction in idling time by up to 90 and due to the effects of the actual aerodynamics of one truck drafting off of another increased fuel efficiency by 8 percent and this is unique among the autonomous trucking models but based on this these this third-party evaluation found that compared to traditional class 8 trucks trucks equipped with Locomations technology would reduce their greenhouse gas footprint by 22 percent, cut operating cost by 19%, decrease fuel consumption by 21%, and lower photochemical ozone formation by 22% so overall we’re talking dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas abatement costs or dollars per tonne of avoided greenhouse gas emissions below any alternatives considered.
Now there’s a lot of jargon there but the whole idea is this cuts the bad things that come from transportation by a fifth and this is dramatic impacts used by using the systems a lot more efficiently.
Well finch this is impressive stuff but a lot of AI companies lately have been making big claims about how green their systems are. Why is this environmental impact evaluation more credible than the others?
Yeah well i mean this is actually a big deal in recent months there have been a growing recognition that many companies not just autonomous trucking companies that market their technologies as having big environmental impacts are actually relying on really weak data or models to make these claims it’s called greenwashing right and it it is a significant issue.
It’s such a big deal that the securities and exchange commission the SEC has actually drafted rules for companies to follow proposed disclosure requirements in order to claim significant impacts on emissions. So this evaluation is significant because it’s the first time anyone in the AV trucking sector has applied a life cycle assessment method that assessed the scope one, two, and three greenhouse gas emissions of their trucks and so Locomation’s arc technology being able to bring in these life cycle assessments.
This is just a way to bring a standard that is far more rigorous than other reporting methods. So we’re really proud to be the first company to verify our green claims with an independent third party science-based review and we invite anyone making claims around environmental impact or fuel consumption to do the same because this will ultimately strengthen the entire ecosystem around the claims that we’re making to help people understand the real benefits that autonomous trucks can bring.
So finch this is a lot but i need to know what does this evaluation mean for shippers?
Yeah so it’s part of our strategy to make sure everything we do align with the needs of our supply chain partners and their sustainability goals and how they contribute to the United Nations sustainable development goals related to health effects, innovation, sustainable production, and climate action. Shippers have carbon emissions goals to hit and this evaluation gives them a credible path to make major gains of that 20% that we talked about if they buy into this technology. Now our customers care about this for a number of reasons not least of which is because stricter emission regulations are coming this decade and they aren’t really currently achievable under today’s technology. In operational efficiency models to continue to be able to exist and to operate in the us companies really have no choice but to invest in these types of technologies and investors are being required to look at these environmental issues as well so if you want to raise funding this is part of your future.
The three largest u.s institutional investors now hold 20% and vote 25% of all of the shares of S&P 500 companies; that’s enough to form a tipping point. So if you’re talking about you know Vanguard, Blackrock State Street they have portfolio approaches. So they don’t look at as much about risk to a single company but are looking at sort of the systematic risk or a risk to the whole market because they can’t invest in different companies to mitigate that risk. In areas like climate change there’s no one company that stands to benefit from these concerns so they have to take a portfolio approach to climate change to be able to address these problems and they’re they’re looking to take this head on uh you know if you’re looking at some of the CEOs and the major investors a lot of their salaries are actually tied to these carbon reduction goals they have to be able to show them you know either to get their own paycheck or to be able to get funding for their efforts and the big three that we talked about are putting real pressure on many companies to expedite their dates for carbon neutrality and on all companies to be able to push forth on their sustainability goals. So this is a real way companies can act today to start addressing these issues and this is something that everyone benefits from. So hopefully everyone can come together to address these issues around pollution, around fuel burn, around greenhouse gas emissions because this is something that we all stand to benefit from not just as an autonomous trucking ecosystem but as a nation and ultimately as a world. So this is something we can all root for and get behind and we’re proud to lead the way with our you know leading third party independently assessed evaluations. So we’re very excited about where we are and what comes next.
Finch this is a big deal indeed. I’m glad you were here to break some of these things down for us. Thank you so much for joining us for this update.
Yeah, I really appreciate you having me.
And thank you all for tuning in for this Freight Tech update of course if you want to learn more you can go to Locomation.ai but be sure to stay tuned and we’ll be back with more updates.