(Kyle Wiggers – Venture Beat)
There’s a healthy demand for driverless trucks. It’s an industry predicted to reach 6,700 units globally, totaling $54.23 billion this year, and one that stands to save the logistics and shipping industry $70 billion annually while boosting productivity by 30 percent. Besides cost savings, the growth is driven in part by a shortage of human drivers. In 2018, the American Trucking Associates estimated that 50,000 more truckers were needed to close the gap in the U.S., even despite the sidelining of proposed U.S. Transportation Department screenings for sleep apnea.
TuSimple is one of the companies vying for a slice of the market. For the better part of four years, the China-based startup has been developing trucks at its R&D lab in San Diego and test operations facility in Tuscon that can drive depot-to-depot without human intervention.
By all accounts, it’s made remarkable progress: TuSimple is currently taking three to five fully autonomous, revenue-generating trips a day for a dozen customers (including Fortune 100 companies and “household names”) on three (and soon four) different routes in Arizona, and will by June expand the size of its U.S. fleet from 11 to 50 trucks. It hopes to end 2019 with a 200-truck fleet in the U.S. and 300-truck fleet in China, which would make it the largest self-driving truck solutions company in the world. Click here to read more.
- Self-Driving Truck Tech Startup TuSimple Raises $95 Million in New Funding (Wall Street Journal)
- Autonomous Truck Startup TuSimple Hits Unicorn Status in Latest Round (TechCrunch)
- Amazon Seen Testing Autonomous Delivery Truck (PYMNTS)
- Autonomous Trucks Will Save Carriers Money and Improve Driver Livelihoods (FreightWaves)