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Ike Announces First Fleets in Automated Trucking Customer Program

| September 1, 2020

Unveils “Powered by Ike” Technology Partnerships with Ryder, DHL, NFI to Automate Long Haul Trucking

Ike, a developer of automated trucking technology (also referred to as “self-driving” or “autonomous” trucking), announced its “Powered by Ike” customer program, including partnerships with leading logistics companies Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R), DHL, and NFI. These industry-leading fleets will be among the first to deploy “level 4” automated trucks on highways.

As part of the multi-year Powered by Ike program, these fleets, as well as several others Ike has not yet announced, have collectively reserved the first 1,000 Class 8 tractors powered by Ike’s technology. Leading up to the launch of a commercial solution, Ike and its fleet customers are collaborating in several areas to provide feedback, perform testing, and prepare to launch and scale up operations.

Ike, founded in 2018 by veterans of Google, Apple, and Uber, is building technology to automate the safe and reliable transportation of freight. Ike’s vision is for automated trucks to drive on the highway, handing off loads to truckers in manually-driven trucks for the journey to and from the interstate. This approach massively simplifies the technical challenge of automation, and creates new opportunities for truck drivers to use their skills and expertise where it matters most, while increasing fleet utilization to help Ike’s customers improve their operating margins. A Yale University study last year that analyzed Ike’s handoff model concluded that automation could create 140,000 new local truck driving jobs by 2030 (www.ike.com/impact).

Ike’s business model is novel for the industry; instead of scaling up its own fleet of trucks, Ike is putting technology directly into the hands of existing fleet operators through a software subscription model. Ike’s fleet customers will buy vehicles from OEM truck manufacturers with Ike’s system of hardware and software already installed, and pay Ike an annual subscription fee. Trucks powered by Ike will be capable of operating in automated driving mode on designated freight routes. Ike plans for the subscription to include various support services, such as integration into digital tools to dispatch and manage the automated trucks, maintenance of new equipment, roadside support, and access for the physical handoff of freight to truckers.

“We are focused on building technology that will help make trucking safer and more productive,” said Alden Woodrow, CEO and Co-founder of Ike. “We want to put all our effort behind systems engineering, computer vision, and validation. Working with these sophisticated fleet partners allows us to plug Ike’s automation solution into huge existing logistics networks that already know how to move goods efficiently. Our skill sets are complementary, and we think we can make the most progress by working together.”

“The industry is experiencing major disruption with ever-escalating consumer and business demands, regulatory and safety pressures, growth of e-commerce, as well as the rise of the sharing economy,” said Karen Jones, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Ryder. “We are at the forefront of identifying new technology and fleet advancements, while acting as an extended research and development arm for our customers. Working with an automation technology leader such as Ike is a continuation of this journey.”

“No industry has gained more prominence in the COVID-19 pandemic than logistics, with millions stuck at home sheltering-in-place and relying on delivery of food, medical supplies, and other essential items,” said Jim Monkmeyer, President, Transportation, DHL Supply Chain North America.”Ike’s automation solution is an excellent fit for DHL Supply Chain’s accelerated digitalization approach, and will allow us to continue making our customers’ supply chains more secure, flexible, and robust to handle future challenges like the one we have all faced in 2020.”

Our approach to innovation and the people that deliver our solutions are key to the customer value that NFI delivers,” said Ike Brown, President and Vice Chairman of NFI. “We are excited to add automated trucking technology to our growing innovation portfolio and accelerate the supply chain industry, similar to what we have been able to do with our early adoption of electric vehicles.”

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