Self-driving vehicles startup TuSimple laid out a plan Wednesday to create a mapped community of delivery routes and terminals designed for autonomous trucking operations that can prolong throughout the United States by 2024. UPS, which owns a minority stake in TuSimple, service U.S. Xpress, Penske Truck Leasing and Berkshire Hathaway’s grocery and meals service provide chain firm McLane Inc. are the inaugural companions on this so-called autonomous freight community (AFN).
TuSimple’s AFN entails 4 items: its self-driving vehicles, digital mapped routes, freight terminals and a system that can let prospects monitor autonomous trucking operations and observe their shipments in real-time. For now, TuSimple will function the vehicles and carry items for its prospects, which now quantity 22. TuSimple desires to finally have the ability to promote its autonomous vehicles so prospects can select to function their very own fleets.
The plan was made public simply days after TechCrunch discovered that TuSimple had employed funding financial institution Morgan Stanley to assist it increase $250 million. Morgan Stanley lately despatched potential traders an informational packet, considered by TechCrunch, that gives a snapshot of the corporate and an outline of its enterprise mannequin, in addition to a pitch on why the corporate is poised to succeed — all commonplace fare for corporations searching for traders. TuSimple, which has raised $298 million thus far, has additionally shared its plans to construct its autonomous freight community with potential traders.
“Our final purpose is to have a nationwide transportation community consisting of mapped routes connecting tons of of terminals to allow environment friendly, low-cost long-haul autonomous freight operations,” TuSimple President Cheng Lu mentioned in a press release. “By launching the AFN with our strategic companions, we will rapidly scale operations and increase autonomous delivery lanes to supply customers entry to autonomous capability wherever and 24/7 on-demand.”
TuSimple already carries freight in its autonomous vehicles (all the time with human security operators on board) alongside seven totally different routes between Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso and Dallas. TuSimple mentioned it’ll increase its service space with current prospects UPS and McLane. U.S. Xpress is a brand new companion. Penske will assist TuSimple scale its fleet operations nationwide and supply preventative upkeep for the self-driving vehicles, the corporate mentioned.
TuSimple mentioned the community will likely be rolled out in three phases, beginning with a deal with a service space within the Southwest the place it already operates. Phase 1, which can launch in 2020 and into 2021, will cowl service between cities Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. TuSimple plans to open this fall a brand new delivery terminal in Dallas. TuSimple mentioned these terminals are designed to be shared by mid-sized prospects. TuSimple will carry freight on to an organization’s distribution heart if it’s a high-volume buyer.
The second section will start in 2022 and increase service from Los Angeles to Jacksonville and join the east coast with the west, the corporate mentioned.
The closing section will increase throughout the decrease 48 states, starting in 2023. The firm mentioned it’ll replicate the technique in Europe and Asia after the AFN rolls out nationwide.