Self-driving trucks start TuSimple On Wednesday, a plan was drawn up to create a mapped network of shipping routes and terminals for autonomous truck operations that is expected to span the United States by 2024. UPS, which owns a minority stake in TuSimple, transports US Xpress, Penske Truck Leasing and Berkshire Hathaway & # 39; s food and grocery service company McLane Inc. is the first partner in this so-called autonomous freight network (AFN).
TuSimple's AFN consists of four parts: self-driving trucks, digitally mapped routes, freight terminals and a system with which customers can monitor autonomous truck processes and track their shipments in real time. TuSimple is currently serving the trucks and transporting goods for its customers, who are now number 22. After all, TuSimple wants to be able to sell its autonomous trucks so customers can run their own fleets.
The plan was released just a few days after theinformationsuperhighway learned that TuSimple had hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to help him raise $ 250 million. Morgan Stanley recently sent prospective investors a theinformationsuperhighway-approved information pack that gives a snapshot of the company and an overview of its business model, as well as an overview of why the company is ready to succeed – all the standard rate for companies looking for investors. TuSimple, which has raised $ 298 million to date, has also shared its plans to build its autonomous freight network with potential investors.
"Our ultimate goal is a nationwide transportation network consisting of mapped routes connecting hundreds of terminals to enable efficient and affordable autonomous long-haul freight operations," said Cheng Lu, President of TuSimple, in a statement. "With the introduction of AFN with our strategic partners, we can quickly scale operations and expand autonomous shipping routes to provide users with autonomous capacity anywhere, anytime, when needed."
TuSimple already carries freight in its autonomous trucks (always with human security operators on board) on seven different routes between Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso and Dallas. TuSimple said it will expand its service area with existing customers UPS and McLane. US Xpress is a new partner. Penske will help TuSimple Scale fleet operations nationwide and provide preventive maintenance for self-driving trucks, the company said.
TuSimple said the network will be rolled out in three phases, starting with a focus on a service area in the southwest where it is already operating. Phase 1, which starts in 2020 and runs until 2021, covers the service between the cities of Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. TuSimple plans to open a new shipping terminal in Dallas this fall. According to TuSimple, these terminals should be shared by medium-sized customers. TuSimple transports freight directly to a company's distribution center if it is a major customer.
The second phase will begin in 2022, expanding service from Los Angeles to Jacksonville and connecting the east coast to the west, the company said.
The last phase will expand to the lower 48 states from 2023. The company will repeat the strategy in Europe and Asia after the nationwide launch of the AFN.