Autonomous trucking company Plus.ai announced Monday it has received a 451 Firestarter award from the technology research and advisory firm 451 Research, now part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. The honor recognizes the company for its technology and partnership momentum that paves the way for the commercialization of autonomous trucks.
The Firestarter award highlights organizations that the firm believes significantly contribute to technological innovation and have the biggest potential to disrupt the market.
“Plus.ai’s partnerships with trucking OEMs in both North America and China, along with its experience in testing highly automated heavy trucks on highways, give it advantages compared with competitors,” 451 research analyst Mark Fontecchio wrote in a research report.
Founded in 2016 by a group of Stanford classmates, Plus.ai is one of a handful of trucking startups seeking to automate the long haul. The company has operations in California and China and has been testing vehicles in both places.
Among its partnerships is a joint venture with FAW Jiefang, China’s largest truck manufacturer, to develop self-driving big rigs for the world’s most populous country. Plus.ai also claims as a partner Softbank- and Google-backed FullTruck Alliance, a Chinese freight-matching platform that controls 80% of the country’s trucking market.
Earlier this month Plus.ai added Former Navistar and GM senior executive Dennis Mooney to its advisory board,
“Plus.ai knows that achieving the vision of safer highways through the use of autonomous trucks requires not only our cutting edge self-driving technology, but also our supportive ecosystem of shippers, truck makers, Tier 1 suppliers, and regulators,” said Shawn Kerrigan, COO and co-founder of Plus.ai, in a press release.
“We are honored to be recognized as a 451 ‘Firestarter’ as another validation of our technology and business progress to deliver the industry’s first autonomous truck.”