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Locomotion Video Transcript

Annc 1

Let’s talk to Glynn Spangenberg he’s the Chief Commercial Officer (let’s do that) over at Locomation we’ll find out how his driver-assisted truck potentially could help with the supply chain crisis. Now Glynn I saw a picture on linkedin you were just at a uh a biker truck rally about a couple weeks ago and i made me want to ask you are you also a biker. 10:46

Glynn Spangenberg

I am a trucker biker through and through.

Annc 2

We love it man all right man what kind of horse do you ride when you’re not driving in your 18 18-wheeler?

Glynn Spangenberg

What’s known as a bagger it’s a full dress Harley-Davidson. I do longer hauls but I also have a nice little fat boy, a 2000 that I customized back in my Qualcomm days and I call it my bar bike. So those are the two bikes that I have.

Annc 1

That is a bar bike, I love it, I dig it. I do. Well Glynn you have you have experience behind the wheel of not just a motorcycle behind the wheel of a truck let’s talk a little bit about how driver-assisted trucks could help with this thing we keep talking about which is the supply chain crisis and something that just seems to be getting worse um set the table for us what are some ways that a driver-assisted truck could actually, help with this terrible situation.

Glynn Spangenberg

Yeah, thank you very much for the introduction to the topic. We know that the supply chain problem has a tremendous amount of complexities. For us at Locomation our focus is on utilization, so that’s both of the tractor and the driver. Right now in the US truckload marketplace it’s estimated that the utilization rate of the equipment is 30 percent and that is you know that in terms of supply chain that’s a whole lot of slop that you’ve got to put out there in terms of underutilized assets that aren’t contributing to the solution. So we’re starting with that as our first and core premise.

Annc 2

Yeah so I mean, but the idea is that now you can run these chains you know two drivers together right they’re just blowing right through any type of brakes is eventually through it and that improves. I don’t know if it’s a 100% increase on those two efficiencies, maybe 50, 60 or whatever it happens to be. Can you tell me what’s the increase in efficiency doing that?

Glynn Spangenberg

Yeah you bet so the utilization rate of the driver increases to about 30 percent. The utilization of the tractor itself, I’m sorry that driver utilization increases by 250 percent the utilization of the assets themselves increase another 30 percent so it doubles up from the rate it is today on average to about 60 in total utilization. So that’s again injecting quite a bit of new capacity into the marketplace that’s rated all loads

Annc 1

Glynn how does that so how does automation help with this one and maybe, maybe it will maybe it won’t, but the number one complaint that most drivers have is they you know they get through the traffic they get through everything they get through the shipper’s dock and then they’re stuck there for two to twelve hours. Wouldn’t an autonomous vehicle also be stuck for that two to 12 hours or will this extra amount of data maybe help with uh you know enforcement.

Glynn Spangenberg

I’m not really sure yeah it’s not really enforcement it’s really kind of what Locomation is focused on right now and that is planning your freight network for autonomy when you begin to look at your freight now through an autonomous relay network lens and we do this analysis so we not only understand what the opportunity is but we can quantify how do we actually go and get that. You’re talking about a prescription for uh these assets at both the local and the line hall but we’re optimizing for the line hall so you can actually solve a lot of challenges by dealing with some of that detention issue in your local operation but in the line hall really looking for full utilization and that’s roughly 500 miles uh when you consider average transit times and you know and baking into the to the calculation of the prescription congestion uh and last minute things that happen out on the roadway. If you can start to prescribe a schedule per day where you’re really maximizing both sets of use of assets local and line hall you’re going to be able to get more than what the average is today which is about seven hours a day of drive time we think you’re going to get more like 11 hours but through that prescription it takes into account using things like from four kites the data about detention at a particular location not broadly for that shipper but specifically for that location; time of day and day, and day of week and if you take into those uh calculations the effect of that on a Wednesday afternoon versus a Thursday morning you can actually plan for the assets to be used much better than they are today. when it comes time for actual dwell time, having a trailer ready for an autonomous truck is really all about that subscription because you can’t just say to the truck show up and pick up and do all of that. You actually have people in place that can know what to do when, where, why, how, and with whom in order to ensure that that the trailer connects to that autonomous vehicle and gets on the road uh properly.

Annc 2

So, Glynn back in the early days, way back in the early days like two years ago I don’t know if you remember these videos where they showed like the the two drivers going into one you got the lead vehicle and you got the one behind but they would show one drop off right and maybe another one come in and they have an open signal like hey i’m ready you can you can grab me or whatever is that still the thinking moving forward they’re these trains uh although they’re not linked right they they’re wirelessly linked I said wirelessly. Yeah it could be more than two or three and drop on jump in and that type of stuff as you’re going down the road.

Glynn Spangenberg

Yeah, now there’s infrastructure concerns that need to be taken into account when you talk about how many of these yeah you put into a convoy because it is increasing the density of the wear and the tear on both bridges and roadways so you have to take that into account. But to get to really your point it’s about this marketplace where and this is where the vision is going. This marketplace where a driver says, hey I have one of these autonomous followers and I can. also I’m a five-star leader of a convoy and so I’m going to be available on this date in the future, at this particular location, and the whole goal is is that each one of these drivers, now we talk about being human-guided autonomy so now you’ve got two drivers who can do the infield work who now according to what they’ve been prescribed in their dispatch. Now they know where to meet up on the interstate and the point at which the follower driver gets to let the hair down go into autonomy mode shift out of the seat and go off duty, not driving while the first driver continues using their hours of service. The follower is off duty and the wheels are still turning so it’s still making the money and it’s still raising the utilization of both the driver and the asset.

Annc 1

Let’s talk about that human aided autonomy because we’ve spoken to a few different autonomous truck companies and they all have different angles but i have to say that Locomation probably has the most flesh human driver focus right [sure] and the most realistic one about regulations some of these other companies like no no they’re on the road they’ll be everywhere they’re on the road they’ll be everywhere. And your company’s taking a much more measured approach. Is that by design?

GlYnn Spangenberg

By design absolutely by reducing the complexity of the the problem that you have to solve for and that is how do I get the truck to do what I’ve intended it to do in this operation so if you have no bounds on it meaning you’ve got a solo driverless truck, a truck with no driver that is navigating surface streets and you know interstates and very complex situations, you have to plan for studying those and putting a safety case together and you never know if your safety case is complete. You never know if you got that one last scenario that actually is going to be the death of someone in the future. By reducing the complexity of the problem to a supervised convoy where you have a driver in the lead who’s cognitively engaged in the process of supervising an autonomous convoy because they’ve been certified trained in all to do that. They’re a more highly skilled driver; they’re watching out for all of the outliers in the convoy. For example, if we have to take a detour and go off-road in the dirt . I as the supervisor driver can say it’d be better for me to pull over and wait the two hours for them to make you know clear the roadway or whatever so we can stay on the interstate. They can actually be involved in the decision making uh for a lot of what the machine will eventually learn to do but today is supervised by that leader driver.

Annc 2

Very interesting. I was wondering about the drivers in the training to be like a five-star platoon leader or whatever you want to call it. Their train leader, you know, you don’t want followers you know like, you know they’re they’re they’re rating them afterward like don’t follow uh Glynn Spangenberg you don’t know where the hell he’s going right, don’t let when you get it right [yeah exactly]. So are you guys [and by the way, that’s a long vision] yeah but it is so, the solution of ,f focusing on over the over the highway, right? Does that kind of solve the issue where they’re talking about uh you know you talk about AV vehicles and then they hit a center outside the city and then a driver takes over right you don’t have to switch or do that drop and hook at these drop yards outside the city, right? Is that kind of thinking there?

GlYnn Spangenberg

Correct and you can, so again we’re human-guided autonomy. We have drivers that are in the loop doing the things that they need to do day in and day, out meeting the shipper, securing the load taking ,care of the paperwork, and then getting out to the point on the interstate and it’s that point on the interstate and these we call them autonomous relay network segments, and they’re denoted by nodes that have a relay component to it knows how to deal with autonomous trucks coming in, trailers turning around and going into the into the local operation but that really is kind of where the fine-tuning is to say that’s exactly where today’s instantiation of autonomous trucks could realistically go into commercial operations sooner rather than later. And then of course, as the progression of the technology grows and we see more and better and you know different scenarios where autonomy really makes commercial sense now we’ll be you know engineering that right into this autonomous relay network so it starts from today there is no autonomous truck looking at it through that lens gives you a five to seven percent profit improvement today just by looking at it through the lens of the future, in terms of how you plan the freight for autonomy but then leading up to a 30% cost reduction, 250% improvement in asset utilization, 30% improvement in driver utilization you know 66 metric tons per truck and reduced CO2 certifiable for the shipper. You know that’s all of what we’re preparing for today to be ready for.

Annc 2

Glynn, thank you so much, a lot of promise moving forward in the future. We appreciate it. Thanks for sharing all that with us today, absolutely thank you for letting us do it. Thanks man check out Locomation.ai for more information.

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