TuSimple Holdings Inc., which has been developing autonomous trucks, today announced that it has partnered with Ryder System Inc. to use Ryder fleet maintenance facilities as terminals for its Autonomous Freight Network. The companies will initially focus on Ryder's facilities in the Southern U.S., but they said their partnership could rapidly scale.
“The trucking industry is on the verge of a massive disruption, and we're seeing strong demand for access to reliable autonomous capacity from shippers, carriers, and fleets,” stated Cheng Lu, president and CEO of TuSimple. “The partnership with Ryder will enable us to grow our operational footprint to continue to meet these needs and set the pace for industry adoption.”
Founded in 2015, TuSimple is developing SAE Level 4 autonomous driving systems for long-haul, heavy-duty trucks. The San Diego, Calif.-based company said it is aiming to transform the $4 trillion global truck freight industry with its proprietary artificial intelligence technology, which enables trucks to see 1,000 m (3,280 ft.), operate continuously, and consume 10% less fuel than manually driven trucks.
TuSimple raised $350 million in November 2020 and in April raised $1.1 billion in its initial public offering. The company said it has been expanding its presence across the U.S. to meet rising consumer demand, with nearly 7,000 reservations. It also recently partnered with AEye Inc. on lidar for autonomous trucks.
Ryder facilities to help TuSimple scale
TuSimple and Ryder plan to collaborate to identify existing Ryder facilities that can serve as terminals along TuSimple's Autonomous Freight Network (AFN). Terminals are secure facilities and serve as the start and end point for autonomous driving missions. These facilities can have multiple heavy-duty trucks and trailers come and go 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
By adding more terminals to TuSimple's AFN, shippers and fleets will have greater access to autonomous freight operations, said the companies. By using Ryder's existing freight trucking terminals, TuSimple said it can quickly scale across the country without needing to build new facilities.
Today, TuSimple's fleet of more than 50 autonomous trucks transports freight for customers across the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Later this year, the company expects to expand operations to the East Coast, carrying freight between Phoenix, Ariz., and Orlando, Fla.
“By working closely with Ryder to utilize its existing infrastructure, the partnership offers a win-win scenario for both companies,” said TuSimple.
“With this partnership we believe Ryder is positioned to become a leader in the servicing of autonomous trucks,” said Karen Jones, executive vice president, chief marketing officer, and head of new product innovation at Ryder. “Ryder is focused on how to best leverage our vast location footprint, maintenance operations, and visibility tools to lead in the future world of autonomy.”
“Partnering with TuSimple will help bring autonomous operations to market more quickly, while also providing Ryder access to new and emerging revenue streams,” she said.
Email Sign Up
Get news, papers, media and research delivered
Stay up-to-date with news and resources you need to do your job.
Research industry trends, compare companies and get market intelligence every week with Robotics 24/7.
Subscribe to our robotics user email newsletter and we'll keep you informed and up-to-date.