Autonomous Vehicle Investment & More | Weekly News Update

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Diesel Market Shows First Signs of Recovery After Harvey Price Impact

The US wholesale diesel market showed its first weekly decline in nearly a month, as Friday’s national average closed at 249.83¢/gal., which is 4.33¢ below the previous week’s close.  This week was the first sign that the diesel market may be recovering from the wide spread effects of Hurricane Harvey.  Houston area refineries continue to recover from the storm, as the total disrupted refining capacity – which peaked at 5 million barrels per day (mmbd) – is down to an estimated 1 mmbd.   Harvey’s disruption led to diesel price premiums that peaked at over 25¢/gal. at the national average level on September 8th, with states in the Southeast experiencing premiums over 35¢/gal.

Tech Companies Invest Big in Autonomous Vehicles

Samsung is the latest tech giant to enter the autonomous vehicle sector, as the South Korean company announced they have setup a strategic business unit for autonomous and advanced driver assistance services (ADAS) earlier this week.  In addition, the company is starting a $300 million fund to invest in automotive start-ups and technologies.  Samsung may have an advantage in entering this space, as its recent acquisition of Harman – an audio and auto parts supplier – provides existing relationships in the automobile industry.

Google, on the other hand, has an established position in the race for autonomous vehicles.  This week provided insight into just how invested the company is to their program.  Waymo – a subsidiary of Google – made a court filing in its ongoing lawsuit against Uber that stated over $1.1 billion was invested in projects developing self-driving technologies between 2009 and 2015.  This is a significant amount of money dedicated to mostly in-house development, especially during a time when many fewer players were in the marketplace.  It is also a big reason why the company is one of the leaders in the autonomous space.

Update: Run on Less

The Run on Less program is moving into its second full week and the results have been impressive.  The group of seven trucks has averaged 10.1mpg across nearly 40,000 miles, with trucks ranging from average fuel efficiencies of 8.6 to 11.0mpg.

In Other News


Bloomberg: China Fossil Fuel Deadline Shifts Focus to Electric Car Race

China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric car market led by companies including BYD Co. and BAIC Motor Corp.


TT News: XPO Redoubling E-Commerce Efforts, Will Expand U.S. Network Through 2018

XPO Logistics Inc. will double its last-mile warehouses to capitalize on the rapid growth of e-commerce in North America, the company announced Sept. 12.


Bloomberg: Saudis Prepare for Possible Aramco IPO Delay to 2019

Saudi Arabia will possibly delay the initial public offering (IPO) of its state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, to 2019. The Saudi Aramco IPO is projected to easily overtake Alibaba as the most lucrative IPO to date, with estimates ranging up to $100 billion for the 5 percent stake that will be made public.


Reuters: Samsung enters autonomous driving race with new business, funding

Samsung is set to announce on Thursday at the Frankfurt Motor Show that it has set up an automotive strategic business unit for autonomous and advanced driver assistance services (ADAS), together with a $300 million fund to invest in automotive start-ups and technology.

The Verge: Daimler’s small electric trucks are coming to America

Daimler AG announced today that it’s bringing the Mitsubishi FUSO eCanter short-range electric truck to the United States. The first commercial partner is UPS, which will use three of the trucks in “locations to be determined.” Daimler had previously struck a deal with Seven-Eleven to send 25 of the trucks to Japan, and put them into production earlier this summer.


Freight Waves: Google has spent over $1.1 billion on driverless vehicle technology

Google is reported to have spent over $1.1 billion dollars on its self-driving vehicle initiative, according to a report in IEEE’s trade publication. The mind-boggling number was discovered by reviewing discovery documents in the lawsuit between Uber and Google. The investment size, which has been kept in secret up until now, shows how bullish and serious the company is on developing driverless technology.

This weekly publication is designed to highlight relevant industry news to provide professionals in the transportation, supply chain, and energy sectors with up-to-date information in a rapidly changing marketplace. This update is purely a compilation of industry news and as such, does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breakthrough®Fuel. We do not warrant or guarantee accuracy or completeness of information. For additional information, please contact us at

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