Self-driving truck developer Plus.ai announced today they have finalized an agreement with the Transportation Research Center (TRC) in Ohio to conduct rigorous testing of their Automated Driving System (ADS) in realistic conditions. The company calls this “an important step to prepare Plus.ai to safely roll out the industry’s first self-driving trucks.”

Testing will evaluate the ability of Plus.ai’s trucks to consistently handle multiple vehicle scenarios that best simulate complex, realistic driving conditions. Significantly, while much of the testing for high-tech crash avoidance systems in the past has been done with the vehicle-under-test interacting with a single vehicle, the approach here is to place the truck within a multi-vehicle context while driving at highway speeds on TRC’s four lane 7.5 mile oval test track in East Liberty, Ohio.  As Dr. Josh Every, Director of Advanced Mobility at TRC puts it, “We human drivers rarely look at only one vehicle in forming our next move. Typically we are aware of multiple vehicles and estimate what they might do in response to our actions. In the same way, complex multi-vehicle scenarios should be presented in testing an automated vehicle.” As Plus.ai puts it, “This is a more rigorous test of the perception, prediction, and planning systems, involving aspects that would not be tested in a single other-vehicle approach.”

The core question is, can the truck accurately perceive what’s happening on the road and apply controls to
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