New Jersey adds real-time slowdown, congestion alerts | Fleet giant partners with autonomous-trucking firm

Updated Jan 18, 2022

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Jan. 17, 2022:  

New Jersey adds real-time traffic alerts for truck drivers

Truckers on some of New Jersey's highways can now get real-time alerts of traffic slowdowns and congestions.

New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti last week announced the implementation of a real-time traffic alert system for commercial vehicle drivers.

The system offers in-cab traffic congestion updates and slowdown alerts to commercial vehicle drivers on 647 miles of New Jersey’s highways, including the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, and Atlantic City Expressway. Truck drivers will be alerted about two to three miles before the slowdown begins, giving them time to reduce speed to help prevent crashes, according to a statement from NJDOT.

The system was developed in partnership with Intelligent Imaging Systems – delivered to drivers through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Drivewyze – along with INRIX, a transportation data and analytics company. The alerts are available to all carriers and drivers using Drivewyze PreClear.

J.B. Hunt enters long-term partnership with autonomous trucking firm

J.B. Hunt Waymo truckJ.B. Hunt announced a long-term partnership with autonomous trucking firm Waymo.J.B. Hunt has entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Waymo Via in an effort to advance efforts to integrate commercial autonomous driving technology in transportation and logistics. The goal is fully autonomous transport in Texas within the next few years.

Waymo is the self-driving unit of Google-parent Alphabet. Waymo Via is its trucking arm.

J.B. Hunt Chief Sustainability Officer and Executive Vice President Craig Harper said its pilot last year with Waymo Via helped the Lowell, Arkansas-based carrier "get a hands-on understanding of how autonomous driving technology could be implemented within our operations. This strategic alliance will continue that momentum and further explore the intricate details that would make this a value-driven solution for customers," he said. "We believe autonomous driving technology will help us create the most efficient transportation network in North America, and our collaboration with Waymo Via is a pivotal step towards fulfilling that mission.”

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The expanded collaboration will include multiple pilots to further analyze the operational capacity of Waymo Via, the company’s autonomous Class 8 trucking unit powered by the Waymo Driver, to address customer needs in realistic scenarios. Waymo and J.B. Hunt completed their first trial runs last year moving freight along I-45 in Texas for one of J.B. Hunt’s customers. The upcoming pilots will take place in the same lane.

Charlie Jatt, head of commercialization for trucking at Waymo, said establishing the strategic alliance paves the way for both companies to grow the foundations for successful deployment "and to capitalize on the benefits of autonomous driving technology."

Beyond the highway, the two will explore solutions that merge autonomous driving technology and the digital marketplace – like J.B. Hunt’s digital freight matching technology platform, J.B. Hunt 360, which was responsible for processing 1.2 million loads in 2020

Additionally, the collaboration will include operational and market studies to refine the commercial readiness of the driving technology.