The major challenges in the logistics industry today are the extreme truck driver shortage, growing CO2 emissions, and tight profit margins. These problems have already had a significant impact on society and are forecasted to continue increasing. For example, the current shortage of 400,000 truck drivers in Europe alone is projected to increase to 2,000,000 truck drivers by 2026.
Despite autonomous driving being the obvious solution to these challenges, many attempts to introduce autonomy have failed. None of the current offerings provide an immediate, coherent, and economically reasonable solution. But now companies are actually making it work for customers.
That is the case with FERNRIDE, a leading German autonomous, electric trucking company, has secured roughly €29 million in Series A funding to accelerate the transition towards automated and sustainable logistics by creating the world’s leading human-machine collaboration technology.
The latest funding will be used to scale FERNRIDE’s operations with existing and new customers globally and boost the technological development of their unique approach to human-assisted autonomy.
Founded in 2019, FERNRIDE’s unique approach addresses these industry challenges for its customers today, unlocking the benefits and reliable service of driverless operations from day one. The company has developed an end-to-end solution that can be seamlessly integrated into live operations without interruptions or downtime.
“Our customers benefit from our human-assisted approach to autonomy from the very start of our collaboration,” says Hendrik Kramer, CEO, and Co-Founder of FERNRIDE. “Our current customers operate more than 1,000 yard trucks in Europe alone – it is crucial to offer an easily scalable solution. With FERNRIDE, we can do just that, as our human-assisted approach works right away, solves all the possible edge cases, and delivers the reliability that the industry needs.”
FERNRIDE is funded by venture capital firms 10x Founders, Promus Ventures, Fly Ventures, Speedinvest, and Push Ventures along with corporate investors, such as HHLA Next, DB Schenker via Schenker Ventures and Krone. Investors have shown confidence in FERNRIDE’s vision and confirm the urgency for the industry to transform and address the challenges.
The company combines a decade of research with expertise from the autonomous vehicle and automotive industries, having recruited senior management team members from BMW, MAN, Mobileye, and Argo.AI. The company’s ambition is to become the global leader in autonomous trucking within the next five years.
“As we are deeply transforming how the logistics industry is operating, it is crucial to partner with some of the industry’s leading players. The strategic investments included in our Series A will help accelerate this transformation,” adds Kramer.
FERNRIDE’s unique approach has already convinced leading industry players such as Volkswagen, DB Schenker, BSH, and HHLA. The company has integrated automated trucks into the productive operations of these enterprises over the past 12 months.