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Developer Alterra, Tech Company Embark Partnering On Autonomous Trucking Hubs Across The U.S.

An autonomous truck

Real estate owner and developer Alterra Property Group has formed a partnership with autonomous truck company Embark Trucks to buy sites nationwide near large metro markets.

The sites will serve as transfer points between autonomous trucks, which will drive more rural sections of highways, and human-driven trucks that will take goods from facilities into the nearby metro areas. The facilities will also be places to store the AV trucks.

Alterra will deploy new and existing funding to acquire dozens of AV-ready sites in markets such as Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles for use by Embark and its carrier partners. Philadelphia-based Alterra's existing portfolio includes over 100 assets in 27 states. 

"We have the ability to provide Embark a strategic advantage when it comes to identifying, securing and developing a nationwide network of autonomous-ready sites," Alterra Managing Partner Leo Addimando said in a statement.

Embark, which went public in November in a $5B deal, plans to launch its first AV trucks in such states as California and Texas in 2024. The financial details of Alterra and Embark's partnership weren't disclosed.

As Americans' demand for goods during the pandemic has boosted truck traffic, truck operators will need more land near big population centers as transfer points and to store their vehicles, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Other investors are in the game as well. Investor Zenith IOS formed a partnership with J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives to buy about $700M of assets ready for truck storage.