Multinational package delivery company UPS has announced that it has made an investment in autonomous driving company TuSimple. 

UPS said both companies is testing self-driving tractor trailers on a route in Arizona to determine whether the vehicles can improve service and efficiency in the delivery company’s network.

The collaborative work with TuSimple began with the goal of helping UPS better understand the requirements for Level 4 Autonomous trucking in its network.

Throughout the ongoing tests, UPS has been providing truckloads of goods for TuSimple to carry on a North American Freight Forwarding route between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. The company initiated self-driving service in May, 2019, with a driver and engineer in the vehicle. TuSimple and UPS said they monitor distance and time the trucks travel autonomously, safety data and transport time.

Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer at UPS Scott Price said, “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. All of these technologies offer significant safety and other benefits that will be realised long before the full vision of autonomous vehicles is brought to fruition – and UPS will be there, as a leader implementing these new technologies in our fleet,” added Price.

TuSimple was founded in 2015 and said its mission was to bring the first self-driving truck to market, to increase safety, decrease transportation costs and reduce carbon emissions.

UPS contracts with third-party trucking companies during its peak shipping season. TuSimple said it believes it could cut average purchased transportation costs by 30%.

TuSimple’s Founder, President and CTO, Xiaodi Hou said, “We are honored by UPS’s strategic investment and their vote of confidence in TuSimple, this proves their commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation. TuSimple is confident that it can accelerate bringing the first self-driving truck to market to increase road safety.”

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Photo by jonbonsilver from Pixabay.