Outrider, a U.S self-driving truck firm, has announced that it has raised $73 million in funding to scale up its autonomous trucks operating in distribution yards for customers in e-commerce, manufacturing and other industries. 

The Series C round includes funding from new investors including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, and the venture capital arm of chip designer and computing firm Nvidia Corp. 

This will also include fresh funding from New Eneterprise Associates and the venture capital arm of industrial conglomerate Koch Industries. 

“Outrider has addressed all the pieces – technology, safety, operations, and support – needed to deploy a reliable, industrial-grade system at scale. The company is a case study in bringing advanced robotics and autonomy technology to market,” said Mark Norman, Managing Partner of FM Capital. “Outrider has a world-class team to scale their solution and FM Capital is excited to invest and join the company’s Board of Directors.”

The company says its customers represent more than 20% of all yard trucks operating in North America and have invested in joint product testing and pilot operations since 2019. Yard trucks are designed to move trailers and cargo containers in distribution yards. 

The development of autonomous vehicles is up and coming with many companies such as Oxbotica, raising $140 million from investors for the deployment of autonomous vehicles. 

The company’s release stated that Outrider’s technology also helps its customers achieve their sustainability goals. Instead of automating legacy diesel vehicles, Outrider automates electric vehicles to reduce fossil fuel use, lower energy and maintenance costs, and reduce emissions. Outrider’s Series C financing will further accelerate its work with EV yard truck manufacturers to maximize the benefits of automation and electrification for customers and the communities around large logistics hubs.

“Our confidence in Outrider is based on its technical and commercial leadership in yard automation for fully autonomous vehicles to integrate fluidly into real-world customer operations,” said Mohamed “Sid” Siddeek, Head of NVentures, NVIDIA. “The fundamental processing pipeline for autonomous vehicles can be applied to all kinds of autonomous and robotics systems, a key area of focus for NVIDIA.”

Workers are continuously using diesel-powered yard trucks to move goods onto loading stations and just around the yards. The new truck will handle the heavy work while humans will still be needed in the yard.  

By automating yard operations, logistics-dependent enterprises will increase the time freight spends moving down the highway, address labor shortages, and allow more people to work in safer environments, said the release.

Picture and press release: Outrider