Self-Driving Trucks: The Way of the Future
Autonomous trucks became a hot topic a few years ago when Uber’s first self-driving truck made a delivery of beer in Colorado. Since then several other self-driving truck startups have made strides with autonomous technology. One, in particular, to look out for is a company called TuSimple. TuSimple operates in both the United States and China. They recently raised $95 million in funding, which they plan to use to increase the size of their fleet. As of August 2018, TuSimple had 20 autonomous trucks total; 10 in the U.S. and 10 in China. With this funding, they are projecting to add 50 more trucks to their fleet in 2019. Their goal is to become the largest autonomous fleet.
TuSimple is well on their way to achieving this goal with the funding they’ve raised. You might be asking yourself what exactly sets TuSimple apart from other companies that have autonomous trucks? Here are a few things that give them an edge. They have a 1000-meter vision system as well as a 360-degree camera. Other companies, such as Waymo, have vision systems that can only see from 300 to 500 meters. TuSimple’s trucks are also making as many as five commercial trips per day in Arizona. This year they plan to make trips to Texas as well. They are currently working on deliveries with 12 different contracted companies; however, they are not naming the companies at this time. According to Business Insider, two of TuSimple’s biggest competitors are Waymo and Tesla. Neither of these companies runs commercial routes yet. As the year progresses, it will be interesting to see what other strides TuSimple makes and what competitors will do to catch up.