Lightning eMotors partnered with Perrone Robotics to offer Class 3 – 7 commercial fleet customers self-driving, electric fleet vehicles. Companies can deploy these vehicles for a wide range of dedicated uses.
The partnership expands Lightning’s zero-emissions EV platform offerings to include Perrone’s AV-powered technology, TONY®. TONY, a vehicle-independent retrofit kit, enables vehicles to transport people and goods in geo-fenced and dedicated driving routes. Vehicles equipped with Perrone’s self-driving technology embedded into Lightning’s vehicles for both cargo and passenger uses are immediately available for order.
“We were looking for partners who could deliver autonomous capabilities to our customers today, and in the future—and that’s what Perrone offers,” Lightning eMotors CEO Tim Reeser says. “We offer perhaps the widest range of electric commercial vehicles in North America, and now we have an autonomous vehicle solution for our products, ranging from ambulances to campus shuttles and other commercial applications.”
PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation, is the first Lightning eMotors customer to purchase a self-driving, all-electric shuttle powered by Perrone’s TONY AV kit. Pennsylvania’s first AV shuttle will provide transportation services to visitors as well as employees within the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The Philadelphia Navy Yard is a 1,200-acre dynamic, urban development centrally located in the popular waterfront business campus. Additionally, Lightning and Perrone are in active discussions with a number of other potential customers as well.
TAKING AUTONOMOUS DRIVING TO THE STREETS
Perrone is a leading provider of AV technology and turnkey vehicle solutions. The company holds a Pioneer Patent for its “MAX” general purpose robotics operating system—the backbone of its TONY solution. Together with MAX, TONY is one of the most flexible and adaptable AV solutions available in the current market. Further, customers can integrate Perrone’s AV retrofit kit into new vehicles and into existing, repowered vehicles.
“A lot of electric vehicle manufacturers are focused on just one vehicle size, and in many cases it’s a bespoke custom platform,” Perrone Robotics, Inc. founder and CEO Paul Perrone says. “But that’s not how we operate at Perrone. Our partnership with Lightning is an example of how we want to make a bigger impact. Lightning’s wide range of vehicles is aligned perfectly with the way we want to help foster the widespread adoption of self-driving technology.”
Initially, Lightning will deploy Perrone’s technology into two product categories: fully autonomous Level 4 application environments with dedicated routes; and Level 2 applications for high-end visual and safety features for commercial vehicles. As of now, Level 4 vehicles can only operate in geo-fenced areas, however, demand is rising. College campuses, logistics yards, downtown business districts, resorts, as well as other organizations and municipalities currently seek EV/AV solutions.
Also seeing a rise in demand are Level 2 autonomous vehicles, especially for transit vehicle operators. Transit vehicle operators can benefit from safety features such as lane-keeping capability, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision avoidance. Finally, all of these features are available among Lightning’s platform offerings. Lidar technology fused with radar powers the technology, adding an additional layer of redundancy that’s important for all Lightning applications.
“Our customers are telling us they want this technology, and now we can deliver it,” Reeser says. “These vehicles are ideal for college campuses, downtown business districts, vacation resorts, and for large logistics yards. And thanks to our partnership with Perrone, we stand alone as the only all-electric commercial vehicle provider that can offer Class 3 – 7 medium-duty vehicles that are fully autonomous and are certified by the departments of transportation, local transit agencies, and other commercial organizations.”
Find out more, visit www.lightningemotors.com.