After ordering 50 electric Lion trucks last summer, Canadian National (CN) is taking a serious interest in driverless trucks.
The big boss of the Montreal giant, Jean-Jacques Ruest, has just been appointed to the advisory board of the young company TuSimple, which is developing autonomous driving technology for semi-trailers.
In December, trade publication TechCrunch revealed that CN was involved in TuSimple’s most recent round of funding, which totaled US $ 350 million (approximately C $ 444 million, alongside other big names. like Volkswagen, Goodyear, the Kroger Grocer, and the Union Pacific Railway.
Testing without humans
Founded in China in 2015, TuSimple is already conducting trials of its autonomous system in Arizona and Texas in the presence of “supervisors” who can intervene if necessary.
The company hopes to perform tests without human supervision later this year to link warehouses together.
In addition to its rail operations, CN provides trucking services to cover the last few miles between its terminals and its customers’ facilities.
More than 1,000 owner truckers work for CNTL, the company’s trucking subsidiary.
In 2020, the intermodal sector, which includes transportable containers on trucks, is one of the most successful at CN, along with grain products and fertilizers.
CN released its fourth quarter results yesterday. Its net profits jumped 17% to $ 1.02 billion on revenues of $ 3.66 billion, up 2%.
The company took the opportunity to increase its dividend by 7%.