TuSimple, a global self-driving truck company, announced that in response to growing commercial demand that it will have 40 trucks in fully autonomous operation by June. The company currently makes three to five fully autonomous trips per day for customers on three different routes in Arizona. An additional route from Arizona to Texas will come online in early 2019. TuSimple daily runs fully autonomous commercial routes from depot-to-depot, which requires both highway and local street driving.
At CES 2019, TuSimple is displaying a Navistar International LT semi-truck (Booth SP5, South Plaza) in Las Vegas, from January 8-11, 2019 highlighting the company’s Level 4 perception system and showcasing what TuSimple trucks “see” while driving autonomously.
TuSimple also announced it is working with Tier 1 suppliers, including Cummins, to enable powertrain integration with its autonomous technologies.
“We are pleased to work with TuSimple and other companies across the globe to help bring autonomous vehicle technology to commercial markets,” said Morgan Andreae, Executive Director, Growth Office, Cummins Inc. “Cummins is a global powertrain leader with expertise in not only engines, but also controls and electronics, and we are bringing this technical knowledge to develop a sophisticated interface that can allow powertrains and vehicles to integrate and operate efficiently, effectively, and safely.”
“Exactly one year after debuting our prototype system at CES 2018, we’re now running up to five commercial trips a day in Arizona, expanding our fleet, and moving quickly toward our goal of creating the first commercial self-driving truck,” said Dr. Xiaodi Hou, Founder, President, and Chief Technology Officer, TuSimple. “We are making tremendous progress towards the commercialization of our technology and trucking ecosystem with key Tier 1 partners like Cummins. The viability and power of our autonomous truck solutions is being proven daily on highways and local streets.”
With the company’s camera-centric perception solution, TuSimple’s trucks are designed to have a vision range of 1000 m (3280 ft). The California Department of Motor Vehicles lists anything less than 300 m (984 ft) to be low visibility and recommends that driver precautions be taken. TuSimple’s self-driving trucks are also designed to see 360 degrees around for a pixel-level interpretation of the visible environment, enabling the vehicle to have 3 cm (1 in) control precision at all times.
The trucking industry is currently facing a shortage of 50,000 drivers (which is expected to increase to 175,000 by the end of 2024) and is approaching a 100 percent turnover rate per year with an average driver age of 49 years old. According to a PwC study, autonomous trucking technologies will reduce annual operating costs for a traditional average long-haul truck by 28% in 2025. TuSimple says it is aiming to transform the $740-billion U.S. trucking industry by cutting costs, reducing carbon emissions, and eradicating some of the challenges currently faced by operators.