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DHL Plans to Test Self-Driving Trucks in 2018

The German logistics company partnered with chip-maker Nvidia and auto supplier ZF to launch its first test for last-mile delivery.

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BY Will Yakowicz - 11 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Deutsche Post DHL Group, the world's largest delivery and logistics company, says it will roll out its first test fleet of autonomous delivery trucks next year.

DHL partnered with computer chips manufacturer Nvidia, which makes self-driving computing platforms for automakers, and auto supplier ZF, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announced during the GPU Technology Conference in Munich Tuesday.

DHL plans to train the self-driving system before the trucks are deployed commercially. The self-driving platform is called ProAI, which runs on Nvidia's Drive PX platform and is connected to ZF's suite of cameras, radar, and light ranging and detection radar (LiDAR). DHL will outfit its fleet of electric delivery vans with the self-driving technology. DHL has 3,400 electric delivery vans, but it didn't say how many vans would be converted to self-driving vehicles.

In a statement, Huang said self-driving delivery vans will help logistics companies keep up with business.

"As online shopping continues to explode, and the shortage of truck drivers becomes more dire, AI-enabled vehicles will be key to providing last-mile delivery services," Huang said.

On Monday, Nvidia also announced that its new computing system, named Pegasus, will bring self-driving cars to "Level 5" autonomy--fully self-piloted cars without pedals, steering wheels that require no human interaction.

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