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Pittsburgh Welcomes Autonomous Trucking Startup

Stack AV this week announced the launch of its autonomous trucking business in the city. The company leverages self-driving technology to improve efficiency and enhance safety in the trucking industry.

(TNS) — Pittsburgh now has two self-driving truck companies.

Stack AV on Thursday announced the launch of its autonomous trucking business, which leverages self-driving technology to improve efficiency and enhance safety. Stack has 150 employees in Pennsylvania and 14 other states working in a "remote work/co-working collaboration," according to the company.

SoftBank Group Corp. is backing Stack AV with capital, resources and artificial intelligence expertise to accelerate the company's growth.

"With our proprietary technology and expertise as well as the commitment from our long-term partner in SoftBank, we are confident we will revolutionize the trucking and freight industries by driving improvements in efficiency and safety and alleviating supply chain constraints for our customers," founder and CEO Bryan Salesky said in a prepared release.

A company spokesman said Stack is considering leasing space in the Strip District for a corporate headquarters, in a part of the city dubbed " Robotics Row" for the number of autonomous technology companies. Stack also has a testing facility in New Stanton.

The new company has deep roots in the city.

Mr. Salesky, a University of Pittsburgh graduate who serves on boards of the university and PNC Financial Services Group, co-founded autonomous car startup Argo AI in 2016 with Peter Rander, Stack president and Carnegie Mellon University graduate. Brett Browning, veteran roboticist and former CTO at Argo AI continues in the CTO role at the new company. The three men have over seven decades of combined experience in the industry.

"By applying the strengths of AI-powered technology to the trucking industry, Stack AV will fundamentally change the transportation of goods and supply chains across the globe," Kentaro Matsui, head of the New Business Office at SoftBank Group, said in the release.

Argo AI closed suddenly in 2022 after the company's biggest backers, Ford and Volkswagen, ended their financial support, affecting more than 2,000 employees. Some of the Argo workers were picked up by the two big automakers, the rest were let go.

Strip District-based Aurora Innovations Inc. has been developing self-driving trucks, which have been delivering freight between terminals in Texas with monitoring by an onboard human driver. The commercial launch of Aurora's driverless truck technology is scheduled for the end of 2024.

©2023 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.