Semi-autonomous trucks 1,100-Mile daily route

03 July 2020 | David Young

TuSimple, a start-up with operations in the US and China operates a fleet of over 50 autonomous trucks delivering freight each day for customers such as UPS, The United States Postal Service and McLane Company

Semi-autonomous trucks 1,100-Mile daily route

TuSimple self-driving technology makes it possible for long-haul heavy-duty trucks to operate autonomously on both US highways and surface streets (structured road networks). Their technology platform uses a multitude of cameras and sensors to provide 360-degree awareness around the vehicle allowing the virtual driver to operate in nearly any driving condition.

Currently its Autonomous Freight Network is a highway corridor stretching over 1,100 miles from Phoenix to Houston using a fleet of 40 self-driving semis (with human safety drivers in the cab). The TuSimple software monitors the trucks' on-road performance and location data, high-definition digital route maps and freight terminals at strategic locations.

The company plans to expand the network from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida by 2022 and then start operating Level-4* self-driving truck services across the US by 2023.

TuSimple's trucking operations are based in Tucson, Arizona, but later this year it will open a second shipping terminal in Dallas to expand its business in Texas.

For both TuSimple and its customer companies, the Automated Freight Network is an opportunity to shape how autonomous trucking can become a key part of a much bigger goods movement network, TuSimple president, Cheng Lu said. "Imagine 100 years ago or so that you had a chance to influence where the railroads were being built, and you got a railroad built through your backyard. That provides a pretty big advantage for you in terms of your supply chain."

*Level 4 autonomous driving is considered to be fully autonomous, although a human driver can still request control, and the vehicle still has a cockpit....The driver, however, must remain fit to drive and be capable of taking over control if needed, however, the driver would be able to sleep temporarily.

Source: TuSimple