The vehicle tackled complex road and traffic scenarios driverlessly and without intervention throughout a 24-kilometer stretch of highway.
NIO-backed Chinese self-driving truck startup Inceptio Technology announced today that it completed its first driverless road test of an L4 heavy-duty truck, tackling complex road and traffic scenarios driverlessly and without intervention on a 24-kilometer-long highway.
The heavy truck test model is based on a production vehicle with Inceptio's L3 autonomous driving capability, using the redundant wire-control chassis, a platform with high computing power and core algorithms.
Inceptio adds two LiDARs to the L3 model and expands the computing power to make the test truck.
The test section was located in Laiwu, Shandong province in eastern China, and included scenarios including up and down ramps, curves, long tunnels, bridges, and access to highway ramps and toll booths.
During the test, the vehicle performed automatic car-following driving, automatic lane changes, identifying and avoiding cone buckets, and driving into toll booths without human intervention throughout, according to the company.
"This is a technical validation of L4 driverless heavy trucks with mass production genes, and the vehicle was able to comfortably cope with natural traffic in various highway scenarios, demonstrating excellent perception and control stability," Inceptio CTO Yang Ruigang said.
"I am very confident that Inceptio is expected to be the first to achieve mass production of driverless heavy trucks," Yang added.
Inceptio was founded in April 2018 by IoT platform G7, GLP, and NIO Capital, with a business focus on autonomous driving landed logistics operations.
Starting in 2019, Inceptio has been jointly developing production models of self-driving heavy trucks with leading Chinese OEMs.
In November 2020, Inceptio announced the closing of a $120 million equity financing led by CATL and followed by original shareholders including GLP, G7, and NIO Capital.
In March 2021, Inceptio launched its autonomous driving system "Xuanyuan". The company has jointly developed two L3 heavy-duty trucks equipped with Xuanyuan with Dongfeng Motor and China National Heavy Duty Truck Group respectively.
Last August, Inceptio announced the closing of a $270 million Series B equity financing round with continued participation from NIO Capital.
On February 28, the company announced the closing of a $188 million Series B+ equity financing, in which NIO Capital again participated.