Automated driving systems for commercial trucks are closer to reality now that Plus and Ouster have signed a strategic customer agreement. The agreement includes an initial roll out whereby Ouster will supply a minimum of 2,000 digital LiDAR sensors to Plus for the mass-production of its automated truck system. Ouster also plans to provide additional engineering support to Plus and is prepared to increase its supply of LiDAR sensors over the next five years
“Lidar is a critical sensing modality to include in our sensor suite in order to develop the safest automated trucks,” said Shawn Kerrigan, COO and co-founder of Plus. “As we start to deploy our automated driving system commercially this year, we need a LiDAR partner with cutting-edge technology that is high performing, reliable, and of production quality that is immediately available at scale. Ouster delivers on all of those requirements.”
In December, Ouster entered into a definitive merger agreement with Colonnade Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: CLA) (“CLA”) in a transaction that would result in an Ouster listing on the NYSE. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2021.
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Plus also recently secured $200 million in funding led by new investors Guotai Junan International, CPE, and Wanxiang International Investment (existing investors also were involved). The company plans to use the new funds to accelerate the global deployment of its automated trucking system. Plans also include the company scaling deployments in the U.S. and China and expanding to Europe and other parts of Asia.
Availability & Initial Markets
Trucks powered by the Plus automated driving system will start mass production this year, and over 10,000 units have been pre-ordered, according to the company. Plus’s automated truck technology will debut in China via a partnership with the Full Truck Alliance and FAW (the world’s and China’s largest heavy truck maker), but Plus still expects to expand into other markets at a later date.