One of the nation’s largest truck manufacturers has partnered with a California-based robot trucking startup to put driverless trucks on the market within just four years.
On July 15, San Diego headquartered tech company TuSimple announced a new partnership with Navistar International Corporation to “co-develop SAE Level 4 self-driving semi-trucks targeted for production by 2024.”
With Level 4 automation, a vehicle is self-driving in most circumstances, but a human driver can still take control.
TuSimple says that they plan to demonstrate “completely driverless operations” by next year.
“TuSimple and Navistar began joint development of pre-production units in 2018 and now we are kicking- off a full go-to-market production program,” said Cheng Lu, President, TuSimple. “We are honored to be partnered with Navistar. The investment in TuSimple and the partnership with Navistar marks an important milestone for our company. With the combined expertise of Navistar and TuSimple, we have a clear path to commercialize self- driving Class 8 trucks at scale.”
Also included in TuSimple’s partnership announcement was the news that Navistar has acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
Earlier this month, TuSimple announced the launch of the “world’s first” Autonomous Freight Network (AFN), which they describe as “an ecosystem consisting of autonomous trucks, digital mapped routes, strategically placed terminals.”
The AFN was launched in partnership with UPS, Penske Truck Leasing, U.S. Xpress and McLane, a supply chain services company.
The third stage of the AFN rollout set to take place in 2023 — 2024 will “expand driverless operations nationwide adding major shipping routes throughout the lower 48 states allowing customers to utilize their own TuSimple equipped autonomous trucks on the AFN by 2024.”