Jin Stedge is one of the co-founders of TrueNorth. Furthermore, she is the CEO, meaning that she is the one in the spotlight most of the time. In recent times, interested individuals might have seen Stedge’s name come up in the news because TrueNorth has managed to raise $50 million in funding.
1. She Is Adopted
Stedge was born in Korea. However, she went to the United States when she was still at the age of seven because she was adopted.
2. Went to MIT
Education-wise, Stedge went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which tends to be called MIT for the sake of convenience. Given its name, it should come as no surprise to learn that said institution is focused on tech and science. Furthermore, MIT has been a notable name in those fields for a very long time with the result that its influence can be seen everywhere in modern tech.
3. Studied Aerospace Engineering
Considering TrueNorth’s line of work, people might be surprised by the fact that Stedge studied aerospace engineering. After all, aerospace engineering are focused on the development of both aircraft and spacecraft, which are quite different from trucks. For that matter, TrueNorth isn’t focused on trucks. Instead, it is focused on truckers.
4. Has Worked in Research
Speaking of which, Stedge has worked in research. To be exact, she was a research assistant at the University of Washington and then a research assistant at MIT. In both cases, Stedge was working on neuroscience. Later on, she became a Chief of Staff at Scotty Labs, which is focused on autonomous driving.
5. Has a Keen Awareness that Autonomous Driving Is Far From Large-Scale Adoption
As such, Stedge has a keen awareness that autonomous driving is far from large-scale adoption. For those who are unfamiliar, there is an enormous interest in autonomous driving, as shown by how a wide range of parties have poured a huge amount of resources into pursuing such capabilities. However, the optimistic predictions of autonomous driving seeing such widespread use by 2027 that it will make truck drivers obsolete are looking, well, rather optimistic. Great progress has been made, but at the same time, it is clear that great progress remains to be made. Moreover, there is no magical solution on the horizon that can solve every single one of the problems that still have to be solved. This is important because Stedge’s start-up is reliant on this remaining true for the next while. After all, there is no future to running a platform for truckers if there will be no truckers in just a short while. For that matter, every single party investing in TrueNorth is making more-or-less the same bet on the same matter.
6. Has Pointed Out That There Are Multiple Issues Holding Up the Large-Scale Adoption of Automated Trucking
Stedge has pointed out that there are multiple issues holding up the large-scale adoption of automated trucking, meaning that it isn’t as simple as just solving one or two problems. For example, truckers often have to go over different kinds of terrain, so automated trucking would need to be capable of handling every single kind of terrain that the vehicle can expect to encounter on its route. Similarly, truckers often go through places where they don’t get cell service for prolonged periods of time, which would presumably limit the capabilities of the system responsible for automated trucking to what is available on-board the vehicle.
7. Her Start-Up Is Aimed At Independent Truckers
Of course, not every trucker works using the same model. Some of them work for trucking companies. In contrast, others work for themselves as independent truckers. The latter benefit from having much greater say over how they work as well as when they work. In exchange, they lack the backup that trucking companies provide, which can cover a wide range of support for a wide range of matters. Stedge’s start-up is aimed at independent truckers for the most part. It isn’t impossible that some trucking companies will use it as well. However, chances are good that well-established trucking companies already have their own solutions for the problems that Stedge’s start-up means to solve, meaning that there are fewer benefits as well as more costs for them to make the switch.
8. She Has Personal Insight into Independent Truckers
Speaking of which, Stedge has a great deal of personal insight into the way that independent truckers work. This was because her family is a trucking family. For example, Stedge’s grandparents were owner-operators who acquired up to six trucks in the 1980s. Similarly, her uncles and her cousins went into the same line of business. As such, she has a fair amount of knowledge about how independent truckers work because she has convenient access to first-hand sources. In any thing, this kind of thing is important because it tends to be rather difficult for businesses to market to a particular part of the population unless they actually have an idea of what their target wants.
9. Wants to Offer a Comprehensive Platform for Independent Truckers
Stedge’s goal is to offer a comprehensive platform for independent truckers, which would enable the latter to do everything from find loads and book loads to invoice their customers and collect payment. This would be very convenient, so it is easy to understand why there are investors willing to take a bet on TrueNorth. On top of this, Stedge’s start-up even wants to pay the users upon the completion of a job, which would be a huge improvement on the widespread custom of paying them after a month or more.
10. Has Claimed Some Success in Lowering Insurance Costs
It is interesting to note that TrueNorth has already claimed a small measure of success when it comes to lowering insurance costs. Apparently, an independent trucker can expect to pay $20,000 to $30,000 in insurance costs on an annual basis. However, TrueNorth was apparently able to get lower insurance costs for its existing group of customers, with the result that the latter are paying about $10,000 in insurance costs on an annual basis.