SOFTWARE AND TECHNOLOGY

Astrolab Introduced FLEX Rover for Advanced Lunar Mobility

Astrolab | March 14, 2022

Venturi Astrolab, Inc. is a leading aerospace company established by a planetary rover and robotics expert team. Astrolab announced the development of an innovative rover built to enhance planetary and Lunar mobility. Flexible Logistics and Exploration (FLEX) rover is a mobility platform that is payload agnostic and can work within an ecosystem of transportation, vehicles, and tools.

Astrolab will help the human presence sustain on the Moon and Mars by providing mobility support through a fleet of FLEX rovers.      

Traditionally, Planetary rovers are custom-designed around a particular payload and cost billions to design and develop. Furthermore, the traditional approach for planetary mobility is not compatible with NASA’s goal of sustained presence on the Moon and Mars. Keeping that in mind, Astrolab is developing a multi-functional FLEX rover designed around a modular payload interface with intermodal transportation from the lander to the rover.

An efficient and economical transportation network is required for humanity to operate off the earth in a sustained way. Astrolab is dedicated to fill in the last gap. FLEX offers a range of utility by being able to collect, deposit, and transport payload.”

-Jared Matthews, CEO of Astrolab

Massive investments from NASA and private industry in Lunar landing adventures will create an unprecedented landed mass capability and mission cadence. Astrolab’s FLEX rover is all set to revolutionize the landscape by enabling the landing of hundreds of tons of payload on the Moon each month.

Astrolab’s FLEX rovers have promising commercial potential. Its novel mobility system architecture allows it to collect and deposit modular payloads. It can support robotic science, exploration, site survey, resource utilization and logistics activities. FLEX is built with an adaptive utility in mind and can serve as an unpressurized rover for two astronauts.

The Astrolab team has successfully tested a fully functional prototype of the FLEX rover in California. In addition, Astrolab’s team tested the performance of the FLEX rover in both crewed and telerobotic operations. 

Chris Hadfield, Astrolab Advisory Board member and retired NASA astronaut participated in the five-day field test and gave feedback on vehicles design and performance. We have transitioned from the Apollo era; it was pure exploration, but now we have plans to settle on the Moon. We need to move the cargo, life support, and more. Driving FLEX was pure joy, and its size, capability, and utility is impressive, said Chris Hadfield.

Spotlight

In a time when the trucking industry is plagued by the driver shortage, capacity constraints and an increasingly rigorous regulatory environment, a dedicated transportation solution allows you to focus on your core business while streamlining your transportation network. A dedicated transportation solution combines trucks, drivers, fleet maintenance, routing, scheduling, management, administrative support and customer service to allow your business to keep moving forward without having to invest in your own fleet.

Spotlight

In a time when the trucking industry is plagued by the driver shortage, capacity constraints and an increasingly rigorous regulatory environment, a dedicated transportation solution allows you to focus on your core business while streamlining your transportation network. A dedicated transportation solution combines trucks, drivers, fleet maintenance, routing, scheduling, management, administrative support and customer service to allow your business to keep moving forward without having to invest in your own fleet.

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FREIGHT

Aurora and Schneider to Autonomously Haul Freight in Texas

Aurora and Schneider | August 02, 2022

Aurora Innovation, Inc. (NASDAQ: AUR), a leading autonomous vehicle company, and Schneider National, Inc. (NYSE: SNDR), a premier multimodal provider of transportation services, announced a multiphase commercial pilot to haul freight for Schneider’s customers with the Aurora Driver, Aurora’s autonomous technology. This pilot reflects an important step for Schneider toward understanding how to incorporate autonomous trucks into its fleet to improve efficiencies and address the growing demand to move goods. “Understanding more about an autonomous future is the logical next step to build a network that continues to deliver the best service for our customers,” -Rob Reich, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Schneider. Schneider hauls freight on over 9.3 million miles a day for America’s biggest companies, creating an attractive value proposition for autonomous trucks that can haul freight 24/7/365. The Aurora Driver will begin weekly autonomous hauls this week between Dallas and Houston with Aurora vehicle operators on board. Load frequency is expected to increase as Schneider expands its relationship with Aurora. Working with Schneider will be instrumental as Aurora makes progress toward delivering Aurora Horizon, its subscription-based autonomous trucking product. The pilot will strengthen and prepare Aurora Horizon in three important areas ahead of its launch: Autonomy at scale – The Aurora Driver learns from every load it hauls autonomously. As the scale of these pilots increases, so does the Aurora Driver’s experience. Vehicle readiness – Weekly hauls allow Aurora to test the durability of its next-generation trucks, based on PACCAR’s Peterbilt 579M, for commercial operation and deployment. Premium service – Aurora’s fourth commercial pilot enables one of the industry’s largest carriers to play a crucial role in testing and validating Aurora’s product and service. “Schneider has a reputation for delivering consistent and reliable service, evidenced by the sheer number of Fortune 500 customers. Preparing Aurora Horizon for prime-time with Schneider springloads our ability to deploy our product at scale in the years to come,” -Sterling Anderson, Aurora’s Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer. About Aurora Aurora (Nasdaq: AUR) is delivering the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly to make transportation safer, increasingly accessible, and more reliable and efficient than ever before. The Aurora Driver is a self-driving system designed to operate multiple vehicle types, from freight-hauling semi-trucks to ride-hailing passenger vehicles, and underpins Aurora Horizon and Aurora Connect, its driver-as-a-service products for trucking and ride-hailing. Aurora is partnered with industry leaders across the transportation ecosystem, including Toyota, FedEx, Volvo Trucks, PACCAR, Uber, Uber Freight, U.S. Xpress, Werner, Covenant, and Schneider. To learn more, visit www.aurora.tech. About Schneider Schneider is a premier multimodal provider of transportation, intermodal and logistics services. Offering one of the broadest portfolios in the industry, Schneider’s solutions include Regional and Long-Haul Truckload, Expedited, Dedicated, Bulk, Intermodal, Brokerage, Warehousing, Supply Chain Management, Port Logistics and Logistics Consulting.With $5.6 billion in annual revenue, Schneider has been safely delivering superior customer experiences and investing in innovation for over 85 years. The company’s digital marketplace, Schneider FreightPower®, is revolutionizing the industry giving shippers access to an expanded, highly flexible capacity network and provides carriers with unmatched access to quality drop-and-hook freight – Always Delivering, Always Ahead.

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SOFTWARE AND TECHNOLOGY,FREIGHT

Schneider previews Freightliner’s eCascadia Class 8 electric truck

Schneider | September 07, 2022

Schneider (NYSE: SNDR), a premier multimodal provider of transportation, intermodal and logistics services, is pleased to host Freightliner at its headquarters in Green Bay this week for company associates to experience the eCascadia Class 8 electric truck prior to integrating the vehicles into their fleet.In 2021, Schneider announced the addition of 62 Freightliner eCascadia’s into their intermodal operations in Southern California. Incorporating electric trucks is a crucial step for Schneider in meeting the sustainability goal of reducing 7.5% per-mile emissions by 2025 and 60% by 2035. With Freightliner’s visit, associates at Schneider can experience the electric truck and its capabilities in person. “Schneider is committed to leading the charge in testing and training new technologies before bringing them to the market and we are grateful for Freightliner offering and showcasing such advancements here in Green Bay, Electric vehicle integration is of the utmost importance, and we are so excited for it here at Schneider.” -Schneider Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Rob Reich While the eCascadia is at Schneider’s headquarters, Schneider Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Rob Reich is available for media interviews on Wednesday, September 7 between 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. CDT, contact Kara Leiterman to schedule an interview time at leitermank@schneider.com or 920-370-7188. To learn more about sustainability at Schneider, visit here: https://schneider.com/company/corporate-responsibility/sustainability About Schneider Schneider is a premier provider of transportation, intermodal and logistics services. Offering one of the broadest portfolios in the industry, Schneider’s solutions include Regional and Long-Haul Truckload, Expedited, Dedicated, Bulk, Intermodal, Brokerage, Warehousing, Supply Chain Management, Port Logistics and Logistics Consulting. With nearly $5.6 billion in annual revenue, Schneider has been safely delivering superior customer experiences and investing in innovation for over 85 years. The company’s digital marketplace, Schneider FreightPower®, is revolutionizing the industry giving shippers access to an expanded, highly flexible capacity network and provides carriers with unmatched access to quality drop-and-hook freight – Always Delivering, Always Ahead For more information about Schneider, visit Schneider.com or follow the company socially on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @WeAreSchneider.

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TRANSPORTATION

Ferguson Announces Collaboration with Ford to Explore Alternative Fuel Sources for a More Sustainable Transportation Future in Commercial Fleets

Ferguson | September 14, 2022

Ferguson Enterprises, LLC ( NYSE: FERG) (LSE: FERG) announced a collaboration with Ford Motor Company to place a first-of-its-kind F550 Fuel Cell Prototype Chassis Work Truck in service within Ferguson's daily fleet operations for six months. Participation in Ford's F550 Fuel Cell Prototype Work Truck, a DOE SuperTruck 3 Initiative, complements Ferguson's overall sustainability strategy to reduce a sizable proportion of Scope 1 emissions from its fleet.This pilot program aims to evaluate how fuel cell technology will operate within the Ferguson fleet while providing real-world usage data to Ford. Ferguson will provide Ford with vehicle data and feedback about the technology to help Ford better define the engineering requirements for commercial vehicle duty cycles. This data will be used to address ongoing industry challenges within the medium-duty and heavy-duty segments, like battery range and payload capacity, that have prevented faster conversion to environmentally friendlier options. As part of this collaboration, Ferguson will also prepare a location in Charlotte, NC for the installation of temporary infrastructure equipment for the duration of the pilot. We are taking a proactive approach to meeting the challenge for a more sustainable future, recognizing the critical role fuel-efficient trucks play to keep American businesses running," said Kevin Murphy, Ferguson CEO. "We are pleased to announce this innovative collaboration with Ford to help improve alternative fuel options in their medium-duty fleet, in line with our overall corporate sustainability strategy to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions." This pilot program with Ford complements Ferguson's previously announced pilot program to launch 30 class 6 through 8 all-electric delivery trucks in its fleet in collaboration with Holman and Electrada. The turnkey fleet management and electrification solutions enable Ferguson to deploy medium- and heavy-duty all-electric vehicles throughout California while streamlining the development of the necessary charging and energy management infrastructure. Together, these investments in new technologies will help inform Ferguson's strategy for a more environmentally friendly fleet. "As we reviewed emissions from our fleet, we realized our scale in the industry provided us with an opportunity to invest in and test new technologies. Participation in Ford's F550 Fuel Cell Prototype Work Truck pilot program will provide further learnings as we work to convert Ferguson's fleet more efficiently, Ultimately Ferguson's investment in new technologies will set the industry standard for private fleet conversion, driving an expansion of the country's refueling infrastructure." -Denise Vaughn, Ferguson Vice President - Environmental, Social and Governance. "Ford's strategy to reduce carbon emissions across the globe includes investigating multiple technologies that will help us achieve these goals across a broad spectrum of applications," said Jim Buczkowski, executive director, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. "This collaboration with Ferguson is a strong example of where our Ford Pro business and the potential of fuel cell propulsion systems might address the application gaps that battery electric vehicles just can't fulfill. The potential of hydrogen, the most plentiful element on the planet, coupled with fuel cell technology has tremendous potential to power larger, heavier commercial vehicles while still delivering zero tailpipe emissions." "While the industry continues to evolve and has made great strides, there remain critical challenges that require urgent consideration to facilitate real progress," said Thurman Register III, Ferguson's Senior Fleet Manager. "Fleets cannot delay deployment of cleaner fuel technology based on their current vehicle retention and replacement strategies. Future industry success is driven by companies like Ferguson investing and collaborating with OEM partners to build solutions that improve the environment without disrupting business. Our collective work addresses multiple industry issues and drives the commercial fleet industry quickly towards a more sustainable future." The story can be found online here: https://www.fergusonpressroom.com/ferguson-announces-collaboration-with-ford-to-explore-alternative-fuel-sources-for-a-more-sustainable-transportation-future-in-commercial-fleets More information about Ferguson's sustainability priorities can be found on its sustainability page, available at fergusonplc.com and visit Ferguson's press room for more news. About Ferguson Ferguson plc ( NYSE: FERG) (LSE: FERG) is a leading value-added distributor in North America providing expertise, solutions and products from infrastructure, plumbing and appliances to HVAC, fire, fabrication and more. We exist to make our customers' complex projects simple, successful and sustainable. Ferguson is headquartered in the U.K., with its operations and associates solely focused on North America and managed from Newport News, Virginia. For more information, please visit www.fergusonplc.com or follow us on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/ferguson-enterprises. About SuperTruck 3 SuperTruck 3 is an initiative jointly funded by the DOE Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Technologies Office and the Vehicle Technologies Office within the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office, and under DOE Cooperative Agreement No. DE-EE0009858.

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