By signing up, Ascend will have secured position to purchase autonomous freight capacity once it becomes available. As a part of the collaboration, V.A.S. will initiate a pre-study to define technical and operational requirements to onboard Ascend to its autonomous freight network which will initially run Dallas Fort Worth to El Paso and Dallas to Houston. Working together, the companies will create a solution that is tailored to the needs of carriers and addresses some of the biggest challenges in the transport industry.
We are excited to partner with Ascend—a carrier that shares our commitment to making the transport industry safer, more efficient and sustainable. Through this collaboration we will gain considerable know-how about carrier needs and create a commercially-viable solution that can address the capacity constraints, safety concerns and labor shortages in our industry.
“We are honored to be the first carrier to join V.A.S.’s reservation program,” said Scott Stowers, President of Ascend Dedicated. “This partnership aligns with our effort to transform the regional truckload sector. Utilizing autonomous linehaul transportation is an example of how Ascend seeks to achieve its goals of serving the exacting requirements of our customers’ increasingly sophisticated supply chains while providing our drivers with desirable jobs.”
“Ascend shares our commitment to improving safety, efficiency and working conditions for drivers. We are delighted to have them as our first carrier customer and look forward to bringing all the benefits of autonomous technology to their business,” says Sasko Cuklev, Head of On-Road Solutions, Volvo Autonomous Solutions.
By reserving capacity, Ascend will have priority access to V.A.S.’s first lanes that will run based on a hub-to-hub model. Under this model, Ascend will pick up customer loads and transport them to hubs in Dallas and Houston. From there, V.A.S. will complete the long-haul portion of the transport mission using autonomous trucks. At the next hub, Ascend drivers will pick up the goods again and deliver them to their destination.
The Autonomous Transport Solutions (ATS) offered by V.A.S. is based on a Transport as a Service model and encompasses the entire hardware, software and services required to provide scalable autonomous freight capacity for highway applications.
V.A.S. believes that partnering with others in the industry, in particular customers, is key to reaping the rewards promised by autonomous trucking. In that direction, V.A.S. has launched a reservation program intended for shippers, carriers, logistics providers and freight brokers. Through the program, V.A.S. will work with these customer segments to better understand their needs while giving them the possibility to be early adopters of autonomous transport solutions.
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The autonomous hauling solution offered by Volvo Autonomous Solutions is based on Transport as a Service (TaaS) and includes a vehicle purpose-built for autonomous driving, a virtual driver, required infrastructure, operations and uptime support as well as a cloud solution that controls the transport system and manages logistics flows. The solutions developed by Volvo Autonomous Solutions are tailor-made for each customers’ needs and intended to make their operations safer, productive and sustainable.
Ascend provides customers with logistics services in coordination with its affiliates Ascend LLC, Ascend Transportation LLC, Ascend Trucking LLC, and Ascend Distribution LLC. The company has asset-based operations in the South, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest, with density and capacity in important regional areas where there is high demand for high-performance short-haul shipping, serving the truckload shipping needs of customers in the retail, fast-moving consumer goods, e-commerce, packaging, and industrial supply sectors. For further information, visit ascend.net.