The US-based logistics giants, UPS, has confirmed its venture capital arm, UPS Ventures, has made a minority investment in self-driving driving firm TuSimple.
Both companies are trialling the autonomous tractor trailers on a route in Arizona to decipher whether vehicles can enhance the service and efficiency of the UPS network. The collaboration with TuSimple has begun with the aim of enabling UPS to better understand the requirements for Level 4 autonomous trucking within its network.
Scott Price, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, commented: “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.”
With the L4 autonomous meaning that the vehicle’s onboard computer is in control at all times, it reduces the requirement for manual intervention.
“All of these technologies offer significant safety and other benefits that will be realized 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,” Price added.
UPS has been offering truckloads of goods for TuSimple to maintain a North American Freight Forwarding route between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. With the company beginning its self-driving service in May 2019 with a driver and engineer in the vehicle, both UPS and TuSimple track distance and time the trucks travel automatically.