The freight transportation industry is going through some major changes.
For the first time ever, technologies that were once relegated to the prototype phase are finding their way to the inventories of America’s major companies.
Trucking companies have been experimenting with a number of new technologies as well as strategies for improving their operations, reducing costs, and ensuring their place in the economy is safe as time moves on.
Companies have been looking into autonomy, as the idea of driverless trucks now offers potential benefits that outweigh the long-echoed hazards of such an innovation. In order to spearhead these developments, established names in the transportation industry have set their sights on promising startups.
A good example of this was when Uber acquired Otto in 2016. Given Uber’s reputation and resources in the transportation industry, they were able to make use of the small startup’s self-driving kits very effectively. Many smaller companies that have looked into game-changing transportation techs simply lack the reach needed to handle matters on their own. This makes it lucrative for them to work with the industry’s featured players.
While the Uber/Otto deal was based around driverless technology, Cummins is moving toward a more energy-efficient future. This trend is not new, but it is one where progress is being made all the time. In the past decade especially, carriers have been pressured to reduce their emissions and break their dependence on diesel engines.
Cummins has been a well-known expert in the area of diesel technology for years, offering big progress in the areas of efficiency and performance. Their acquisition of electric-drivetrain company Brammo could mean big things for the future of their company. The company’s CEO and Chairman, Tom Linebarger, spoke about the acquisition.
“To be a leading provider of electrified power systems just as we are with diesel and natural gas driven powertrains, we must own key elements and subsystems of the electrification network. By adding the expertise of Brammo and its employees to Cummins, we are taking a step forward in our electrification business and differentiating ourselves from our competition.”
Brammo’s technology was shown off in another type of vehicle previously. The Empulse R motorcycle showed just how much the technology could boost performance. Polaris was so impressed by the technology that they purchased Brammo’s motorcycle business and used the idea for their Victory line of motorcycles.
Brammo was made electric drivetrains and high-performance battery packs for a variety of vehicles. They’ve even developed an 1100-pound battery pack for the world’s first batter-powered human-piloted helicopter.
Cummins may be investing in this technology to further the efforts of one of their most recent initiatives. Their electric truck program just emerged this past summer, and prototype ideas were released to show the concepts in their current form.
With Brammo’s technology backing them, Cummins joins an elite group of companies that are leading the way for electric vehicles. These names include the likes of Tesla, VW, Daimler, and more, as the list is growing almost monthly.
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