Stuttgart, Germany – Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC), the corporate venture capital arm of the Bosch Group, has invested in Trunk, a startup based in Beijing, China.
Trunk provides combined hardware and software solutions for autonomous trucking. It is the first company to go into production with autonomous trucking solutions for the container logistics market, currently valued at some 19 billion U.S. dollars. The company’s solutions feature artificial intelligence (AI) and are specifically designed for logistics applications such as container transportation in and between ports and warehouses. “Trunk’s unrivaled AI-based technology enables 24/7 goods transportation with limited human involvement. This is a key step toward achieving logistics automation in the near future,” says Dr. Ingo Ramesohl, the managing director of RBVC. “The technology is strategically relevant for numerous Bosch products in commercial-vehicle applications.”
Full technology stack for autonomous trucks
Trunk is a full-stack supplier for truck manufacturers. The company’s developments include fleet management and remote control software, that is certified for automotive use (ISO 26262) and can be fully integrated into customer operating platforms, such as terminal operating systems in ports. Trunk’s perception, decision-making, and planning modules offer best-in-class localization accuracy. By leveraging specially designed neural networks as well as inference and robotic technologies, Trunk is able to precisely tailor its solutions perfectly with customer needs. In doing so, the company is helping to compensate for an ever-increasing shortage of drivers, saving energy, and easing tedious workflows. The success of this approach is already visibly in the form of strong strategic partnerships, for example with China Merchant Port, China’s biggest port operator. Among the startup’s customers are logistics giants like Tianjin Port and Sinotruck. “We are very pleased to be supported by Bosch,” says Trunk’s CEO Zhang Tianlei. “Bosch is a global leader in automotive technology. Its investment will boost Trunk’s competitiveness as well as our ability to provide professional autonomous trucking services to customers.”
Autonomous trucking is key to meeting challenges in logistics business
In recent years, China has evolved into a major hub for manufacturing, trading, and technology development, and seen domestic consumption rise accordingly. As a result, demand for logistics services in China is at an all-time high. Like many countries, however, China is faced with a shortage of qualified truck drivers, which is making it difficult to keep up with demand. Trunk believes that autonomous trucking technology is the key to meeting these challenges. It also has the potential to revolutionize the logistics sector, both in China and around the globe. Thanks to its long-standing experience in this field, Trunk is well-positioned to become one of the leading suppliers in this market.
Experienced team and investors
Trunk’s founders are Chinese pioneers in autonomous driving. The management team comprises AI experts, automotive-industry veterans, and logistics leaders, all with excellent track records. The shareholders include iFlyTek, a leading AI company, GLP, a leading global investment manager specializing in logistics and related technology, and EBVC, a senior logistics investor. Along with RBVC, they will continue to provide Trunk with wide-ranging support to bring autonomous trucking onto the road.
Image Credit: www.bosch-presse.de