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TuSimple Photo: Neil Abt/Fleet Owner
TuSimple attended the CES show for the second straight year in 2019.

TuSimple highlights progress of autonomous truck technology at CES

PlusAI also shows automated driving of big rigs in the south plaza.

LAS VEGAS. The south plaza of the Las Vegas Convention Center can feel far from the center of the action at the CES show.

The small, outside area is a long walk from many of the vehicles, robots, televisions, and other electronics that thousands of attendees gawk at every year.

Yet it was a perfect location for TuSimple to promote its self-driving technology for heavy-duty trucks, said Robert P. Brown, director of public affairs.

Photo: Neil Abt/Fleet Owner

TuSimple is running up to five trips a day for customers in Arizona.

Located just steps away from a key location where dozens of shuttle buses transported people to and from local hotels, Brown told Fleet Owner TuSimple’s tractor-trailer was receiving plenty of attention from the CES crowd.

In 2018, TuSimple brought a Peterbilt tractor to the North Hall of CES to promote its Level 4 autonomous technology. This year, TuSimple used a new Navistar International LT series tractor and 53-foot trailer as its the eye-catching showpiece.

“Exactly one year after debuting our prototype system at CES 2018, we’re now running up to five commercial trips a day in Arizona, expanding our fleet and moving quickly toward our goal of creating the first commercial self-driving truck,” Dr. Xiaodi Hou, founder, president, and chief technology officer of TuSimple, said in a statement.

The company is calling itself “largest self-driving truck solutions company” in the world. It currently has 11 autonomous trucks in the United States, and expects to have 40 in operation by June.

TuSimple runs fully-autonomous trips for customers on three different routes in Arizona. An additional route from Arizona to Texas will begin in the near future, the company said.

Its technology has vision range of 1,000 meters, which the company said is further than any other existing autonomous system.

TuSimple also announced it is working with suppliers including Cummins Inc. to enhance powertrain integration with its autonomous technologies.

“We are making tremendous progress towards the commercialization of our technology and trucking ecosystem with key Tier 1 partners like Cummins,” said Hou. “The viability and power of our autonomous truck solutions is being proven daily on highways and local streets.” 

Photo: Neil Abt/Fleet Owner

A sensor on the side of an International tractor used by PlusAI to demo its Level 4 autonomous technology.


Also located in the south plaza was PlusAI, a company founded in 2016 that also is developing a Level 4 system. It was demonstrating its technology at CES using an International LT series tractor.

“Thanks to the convergence of machine learning and artificial intelligence, big data, mobility, and advanced sensors, the autonomous revolution is on the horizon. Autonomous trucks are one of the best applications for autonomous driving in the near term, and this application is close to becoming a reality,” said Dr. David Liu, founder and CEO of PlusAI. 

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