Traxen in Plymouth Township, an energy-efficient advanced driver-assistance system technology company for the trucking industry, was awarded a contract by United Road Services in Romulus to officially launch production of its iQ-Pilot system for Class 8 traditional, hybrid, and electric commercial trucks.
United Road Services, a provider of finished vehicle transport logistics, is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager that acquired United Road in 2017. United Road was founded in 1998 and has locations across the U.S. and Canada.
“United Road is a technology-solutions driven company, so we welcomed the opportunity to work with Traxen,” says Jason Walker, COO at United Road. “We have seen significant benefits with the addition of iQ-Pilot to our tractors. Besides the significant fuel savings, iQ-Pilot helped reduce our carbon emissions and improve safety in ways not currently realized in the auto hauler segment.”
The iQ-Pilot’s average of 10 percent improvement in diesel fuel consumption in the U.S. equates to an annual reduction of 5 billion gallons of fuel or 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. This also equates to an average potential cost savings of $6,000 per year on trucks currently in operation.
The proprietary software and hardware monitors road conditions, changes in elevation, road curvature, traffic patterns and weather conditions miles beyond what operators of Class 8 vehicles can readily see. A driver’s hours of service and time of arrival are additional inputs considered.
Because iQ-Pilot uses artificial intelligence (AI) to control the speed of the vehicle based on the factors it regularly monitors, the driver’s primary responsibility is focused on steering. Non-intrusive alerts via Traxen’s user-friendly interface helps keep drivers alert and informed. Human error and fatigue are vastly reduced using this intuitive technology.
The 400-unit production contract with United Road Services, a leading finished vehicle transport company, follows a successful pilot and four-month trial on five trucks that yielded excellent results. It also marks the first production contract for Traxen.
“During the trial phase, the United Road team’s use of our intuitive technology averaged significantly higher than the industry average utilization of basic Adaptive Cruise Control. Some drivers utilized the system close to 80 percent,” says Ali Maleki, CEO of Traxen.
“And in our test fleet of three tractors, we averaged well over 90 percent utilization and averaged fuel economy increases of 10 percent. We are excited to extend our relationship with the United Road team and have them fully realize the potential of our iQ-Pilot.”
Traxen has already begun installing units for United Road and anticipates full installation will be completed within the next 12-18 months. iQ-Pilot is now available to OE truck manufacturers and commercial vehicle aftermarket customers and is currently being piloted by other commercial fleets.
“Traxen has made significant advancements to the iQ-Pilot since it was first introduced, and partners like United Road Services have been able to realize the substantial impact the technology can have on a fleet’s bottom line,” says Mary Petrovich, chair of Traxen’s board of directors. “We are thrilled to enter into this production agreement with United Road and look forward to seeing the proliferation of the iQ-Pilot’s use throughout the industry in the years to come.”