Autonomous freight hauling is moving faster than self-driving cars, with new team-ups throughout 2021. TuSimple Holdings Inc. last week said it has partnered with DHL Supply Chain to adopt, integrate, and scale TuSimple's autonomous trucking technology into DHL's global logistics operations.
“Partnering with leading-edge technology companies is foundational to our digital transformation strategy, and TuSimple will play a key role in supporting our adoption of next wave transportation solutions,” said Jim Monkmeyer, president of transportation at DHL Supply Chain. “We share TuSimple's vision of utilizing efficiencies to drive a more sustainable future and have been encouraged by the results so far.”
TuSimple continues global expansion
Founded in 2015, TuSimple has operations in Arizona, Texas, Europe, and China. The San Diego, Calif.-based company is developing SAE Level 4 autonomy for long-haul, heavy-duty trucks. TuSimple said it is aiming to transform the $4 trillion global truck freight industry through its artificial intelligence technology, which it claimed enables trucks to see 1,000 m (3,280.8 ft.) away, operate nearly continuously, and reduce fuel consumption by more than 10% than manually driven trucks.
After establishing its Autonomous Freight Network (AFN) in the U.S. last year, TuSimple has expanded its operations from Arizona to Florida, with plans to create a nationwide transportation network over the next few years. In addition, the company is testing its autonomous trucks on public roads in Sweden and at the deep-water port in Shanghai.
TuSimple announced plans for a $1.1 billion initial public offering (IPO) in April, and it partnered with Ryder System Inc. in July to use Ryder's maintenance facilities as terminals for its AFN.
“We're excited to be working with DHL, one of the world's largest logistics leaders, to help them adopt, integrate, and scale our autonomous trucking technology into their operations,” said Cheng Lu, president and CEO of TuSimple. “This new partnership further validates the appetite for autonomous trucking technology as the industry looks for ways to increase freight capacity, improve safety, and control operating costs.”
DHL reserves 100 self-driving trucks
Early this month, DHL Supply Chain began daily freight haul operations using TuSimple's San Antonio-to-Dallas AFN. DHL also disclosed that it has reserved 100 autonomous trucks being co-developed by TuSimple and Navistar in the U.S.
DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group, which generated revenues of more than €66 billion ($74.55 billion U.S.) in 2020. The supply chain provider has about 400,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide and said it plans to achieve zero-emissions logistics by 2050. DHL Supply Chain has also collaborated with mobile robot providers Locus Robotics Corp. and Geekplus Technology Co.
“The partnership positions DHL at the forefront of autonomous trucking operations and opens the door for collaboration in other markets such as Europe and Asia in the future,” said the company. “With the integration of TuSimple's L4 technology into its network, DHL aims to leverage the potential of TuSimple's industry-leading autonomous driving technology specifically designed to meet the unique demands of heavy-duty trucks.”
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