Here’s one way to combat the shortage of truck drivers. Reconfigure your trucks so you don’t need drivers.
Amazon is taking that route, as they have agreed to buy 1,000 autonomous truck-driving systems from a self driving trucking California startup called Plus.
Plus makes AI-based software used by trucks. The deal with Amazon is complex, and it gives Amazon the option to purchase up to 420,702,410 shares of Plus at a price of $0.47 per share. If that happens, Amazon would own 20% of the company on an investment of roughly $200 million.
The race is on to be the leader in driverless systems, and Plus is in the race. Clearly the goal of Amazon is to ultimately not need human truck drivers.
PlusDrive will be the first product rolled out by Plus, and it will reportedly be similar to Tesla’s self-driving software. It still requires a licensed driver to watch the road in case the system has issues.
Earlier this year Plus started filling orders for some American and Chinese trucking companies.