EV and smart container firm BrightDrop, a GM subsidiary, to integrate Marain’s AI-powered fleet optimization software into its ecosystem of last-mile solutions; Marain co-founders Scott and Colin Sheppard join BrightDrop to lead integration efforts

Sample article from our Transformation & Innovation

June 13, 2022 (press release) –

  • BrightDrop helps make the transition to electric fleets easier with integration of predictive analytics, simulation and AI-based optimization technology
  • Marain cofounders from Berkeley and Stanford join BrightDrop to lead the company’s growing data science and machine learning functions
  • The company aims to leverage software, together with its BrightDrop Zevo electric vans and BrightDrop Trace e-carts, to capture a winning share of the $250 billion last-mile delivery market

BrightDrop, the technology company decarbonizing last-mile delivery, is acquiring fleet optimization software from Marain, a California-based technology startup. BrightDrop will integrate Marain’s artificial intelligence-powered fleet optimization software into BrightDrop’s ecosystem of last-mile solutions to analyze, forecast and identify multi-modal solutions for fleet customers as they plan their journey to full-fleet electrification.

Just 17 months after launching the business, and on the heels of delivering its first commercial electric vehicles to FedEx, this move signals BrightDrop’s continued growth and momentum to capture a winning share of the $250 billion last-mile delivery market. 

As commercial fleets ramp up electrification efforts, there are increased challenges around operationalizing a highly complex delivery system, including interpreting data, predicting trends and controlling assets within fleets. A single delivery today can include multiple touch points between vehicles, hubs, drop off locations, drivers and fleet managers that all must work seamlessly together to get packages to customers on time, every time. Downtime is a significant cost, and bringing Marain’s software in-house will allow BrightDrop to help fleet customers maximize uptime, improve efficiencies and keep goods flowing through the delivery ecosystem 24/7.

“We’re bringing entirely new ways of doing business to the delivery market by providing a holistic, one-stop-shop portfolio of first- to last-mile solutions that allow fleet customers to do their jobs more efficiently while helping alleviate strain on the workforce, and the environment,” said Rachad Youssef, chief product officer, BrightDrop. “Part of that includes building a software platform that leverages data and simulation to demonstrate how new technologies can work for them. This integration will take our software capabilities to new heights, while continuing to deliver as promised for our customers.”

Combining advanced AI and machine learning technologies with data analytics and powerful simulation tooling allows Marain’s fleet optimization software acquired by BrightDrop to model various complex environments and deliver better performance for customers. BrightDrop will integrate this technology into its software solution to model the efficiency gains that can be captured as customers adopt new technologies like the BrightDrop Zevo and BrightDrop Trace products for these multi-segment delivery and logistics scenarios. This will enable fleet customers to better optimize their operations as they make the transition to an all-electric future. This software enhancement will also help BrightDrop customers see exactly what efficiencies are possible and how to capture them, helping drive lower operational costs and higher profitability.

“The opportunity to electrify the delivery sector is massive, and it will benefit significantly from sophisticated planning and operations software as fleets introduce multi-modal solutions,” said Damien Scott, CEO and cofounder, Marain. “BrightDrop is extremely well positioned to lead the transformation of first- to last-mile deliveries with its integrated vehicle, software and services portfolio. We are delighted that Marain's technology and expertise will uniquely add to BrightDrop’s software capabilities helping to decarbonize the last-mile at scale.”

Born out of Stanford’s Autonomous Research Lab, Marain was founded by University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University alumni with deep expertise spanning AI, ML, transportation, autonomy and energy systems. Marain employees will join BrightDrop including cofounders, Scott and Colin Sheppard, who will lead the integration efforts across the data and analytics and product development teams, consistent with the company’s investments in and laser focus on its software-centric approach to decarbonizing last-mile deliveries.

BrightDrop has secured more than 25,000 EV production reservations, and its flagship vehicle, the BrightDrop Zevo 600, is currently in production and on roads today with high-volume production beginning later this year. BrightDrop’s Trace e-cart is available today, and the Zevo 400 will be available late 2023. For more information on BrightDrop and its products and services, visit gobrightdrop.com.

About BrightDrop
BrightDrop is a new business reimagining the commercial delivery and logistics industry for an all-electric future. Its portfolio of electric vehicles, smart containers, and software are designed to decarbonize last-mile deliveries and reduce congestion for a smarter, more sustainable future. BrightDrop is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors. For more information, visit gobrightdrop.com.

# # #

CONTACTS:
Maria Violette

GM Communications

248-709-0682

maria.violette@gobrightdrop.com

Daniel Roberts

GM Communications

202-815-1150

daniel.roberts@gobrightdrop.com

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