Self-driving technology startup TuSimple is ready to put the driverless in driverless technology.
The company said Tuesday that Union Pacific Railroad – the largest Class I railroad in the United States – will become the first customer to haul freight on TuSimple’s fully automated trucking route between the Tucson metro areas. and Phoenix, Arizona this spring.
Union Pacific’s executive vice president of marketing and sales, Kenny Rocker, said the partnership with TuSimple allows his company to expand operations beyond its railroad hubs and serve customers faster and better. effectively, providing Union Pacific “a significant opportunity to scale technology in our network, proactively reducing global supply chain congestion.
TuSimple completed what is believed to be the world’s first Driver Out semi-trailer race last year and has since recorded six other successful fully self-driving races – the most recent of which was last month. The seven trips in total covered more than 550 cumulative miles on open public roads with no one in the vehicle, no teleoperation and no traffic interference. Trips were made in a variety of road conditions, including heavy traffic in the early evening and back-to-back trips the same night.
Going forward, TuSimple plans to continue its “Driver Out” program and gradually expand its scope to incorporate daytime rides and new routes while making regular improvements to its proprietary AV technology. By the end of next year, TuSimple plans to achieve commercial viability by launching continuous Driver Out Paid Freight operations in a major shipping area such as “The Triangle of Texas”, which includes Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.
“Our repeatable and scalable Driver Out operations mark an important inflection point in our company’s history. We are the first in the world to provide all features of AV trucking technology,” said Cheng Lu, President and CEO of TuSimple. “We are proud to have delivered this historic milestone on time and are excited to be fully focused on bringing our breakthrough technology to market in an accelerated timeframe.”
TuSimple continues to advance autonomous freight routes through the Sunbelt. To expand its operations in preparation for nationwide expansion, the company recently provided technical specifications to commercial real estate developers to prepare for future self-driving trucking operations, including a million-foot state-of-the-art facility. square in a 27,000-square- acre development under the AllianceTexas.
To date, TuSimple has over 11,000 unique mapped miles in its autonomous freight network and plans to continue to scale its operations to support its distribution partners.