Self-driving truck with head up display on a road. Photo: iStock

Cainiao, the smart logistic arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has joined forces with a number of companies producing autos and drones as well as laser radar and chip manufacturers, to promote the mass production of unmanned equipment and to create a new intelligent logistics network, The Paper reported.

By working in conjunction with FAW Jiefang, a truck maker under the vast FAW Group, Cainiao released a driverless truck on Thursday.

Compared with other general driverless solutions, this formation-based operation only requires the head vehicle to be equipped with driverless technology, while the follow-up vehicles are simply equipped with basic radar and communication tools.

According to the set data, the entire motorcade is running at a fixed distance. When other vehicles are inserted, the motorcade can immediately adjust the distance, said Zhang Chunhui, director of Cainiao’s ET logistics laboratory.

The entire operating costs of such unmanned formations are much lower than ordinary trucks, saving fuel and manpower.

Meanwhile, Cainiao has also released the world’s first solid-state laser radar driverless car. The latter vehicles, developed by RoboSense, are touted to drastically reduce costs and ensure the mass production of unmanned logistics vehicles.