On September 27, Alibaba Dharma Academy announced that it was developing the L4 automatic driving truck “big man donkey”, and has started a small-scale road test. Wang Gang, head of the automatic driving Laboratory of the Dharma academy, revealed that the Dharma academy plans to let unmanned trucks drive on the road in three years and apply them to tens of thousands of logistics distribution routes.
In recent days, the news of “shortage of truck drivers in Britain” has aroused concern. Due to the shortage of drivers, high cost of manpower and fuel consumption, frequent accidents and other reasons, the demand for automatic driving in the field of commercial vehicles is stronger.
Limited by safety factors, the freight track is becoming the first breakthrough in the commercial operation of driverless landing, attracting many players.
With the favor of capital, there is a wave of self driving trucks. A few days ago, the Unicorn deepway, an autopilot Freight Track jointly hatched by Baidu and Shiqiao, officially released its first L4 level autopilot new energy heavy truck “Xingtu generation 1”. Last year, FAW Jiefang released the mass production automatic driving heavy truck J7 in cooperation with Zhijia technology; The L4 grade pure electric driverless truck jointly developed by sinotruk and mainline technology has realized commercial operation. In addition, enterprises in driverless truck segments such as Tucson future and yingche technology also raised more than 100 million yuan of financing again last year.
However, the characteristics of heavy load, large inertia and long braking distance of trucks make the technical and product barriers of automatic driving applied to trucks very high, and the mass production of vehicles itself also puts forward higher requirements for economy. In the view of insiders, even if the technical reserves are in place, once the funds are insufficient, they will face the fate of being eliminated. Especially for companies that have just entered the track, cash flow is the lifeblood of their survival.
“At present, most automatic driving companies are losing money, and their cash flow is not good.” Shi Weiran, a researcher at the transportation research center of Central South University, believes that it is very difficult for automatic driving companies to achieve balance of payments due to many factors such as technical difficulty and R & D investment cycle.
Now almost all commercial vehicle automatic driving start-ups are losing money. Even if the head focus effect of the capital market and the ecological layout of track players continue to accelerate the commercialization process of autonomous trucks, enterprises are bound to experience a painful process of loss.