Besides developing delf-driving big rigs for Navistar International Corp., TuSimple is also working with Nvidia Corp on chip making. Furthermore, Navistar Internationa Corp is bing bought out by Volskwagen’s AG truck unit, Traton SE.
Though Volkswagen and Navistar hold more stakes now, UPS was one fo the early investors on TuSimple back in 2019.
Two years back, when the electric vehicle pressure wasn’t exsisitng, UPS invested minorly on the company to try and see how the start-up could play a role in UPS. Now, as the TuSimple self-driving trucks are set to release by 2024. The demo without any human presence to be take place in Arizona.
When the alliance with UPS was being made, UPS stated as follow,
“UPS is committed to developing and deploying technologies that enable us to operate our global logistics network more efficiently. While fully autonomous, driverless vehicles still have development and regulatory work ahead. We are excited by the advances in braking and other technologies that companies like TuSimple are mastering.”
The details of how long the drive will be by this year end is not given. However, the company has given an earlier statement about how they plan to test-drive everywhere in America from California to Arizona. With a collective aim to achieve 36 hour journey from California to Arizona by 2023, they are yet to start this year.
Their alliance with Navistar was last year, in July. Their deal was more than just selling and buying. TuSimple was to provide the software and technical knowledge, while Navistar was providing hardware of the truck. Initially their plan was to have both manual and automated controls in the truck. Whether they have same goals even now, or will is change, is unclear as TuSimple declined to comment.
Requires less mapping
As the truck works through it’s course, it is easier to get customers for trucks, unlike self-driving cars. Companies are interesting in experimenting and trying new technology, which in turn reduces their cost largely.
Most of these self-driving trucks developed by start-ups travel in highways and don’t have to go through heavy traffic, unless withing the city. As the driver rest time is also reduced, these self-driving trucks are also time-saving.
“While all the sensors and software needed for self-driving will add around 30% to the sticker price of a truck jointly developed by TuSimple and Navistar, the vehicles should be profitable right away because of the lack of downtime needed for human drivers.”
As start-ups like TuSimple progress towards direct profitability, the competition with the dozen other existing companies is going to get tough. Almost all of them are in experiment stage, and we are yet to know who will make it to the market first, or who will have better mileage.
TuSimple has a simple advantage compared to it’s competitors, they have start out early. They have possibility of having expertise on the same. The intend to bring first-class safe driving trucks to the market.