TuSimple, a San Diego-based self-driving truck company, has entered into a partnership with UPS to test self-driving tractor-trailer trucks with the aim of exploring uses for autonomous trucks in package delivery.
The testing has been ongoing since May 2019 and seen TuSimple’s trucks carrying UPS freight along a North American Freight Forwarding route in Arizona between the cities of Phoenix and Tucson. The trucks are Level 4 autonomous, meaning they are entirely computer-controlled but still allow a driver to take manual control of the vehicle if needed. Engineers from TuSimple have been riding along in the trucks due to government regulations and to monitor the vehicles in action. News of the tests only broke recently as USP announced that it had made a minority investment in TuSimple via its venture capital arm, UPS Ventures.
We’ve have been hearing for years that autonomous vehicles are the wave of the future, from Uber and Waymo vans to semi-trucks that carry billions of tons of freight each year. But that future seemed pretty far off, particularly when it came to the very traditional trucking industry — until now.
Last month, the Arizona Mirror reported that tech startup TuSimple has had autonomous trucks driving on the I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson for last couple months and surprise, surprise….not a soul noticed.
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