Photo: TuSimple
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Chinese self-driving truck firm to widen testing efforts

Nov. 28, 2017
After securing fresh investment funds, TuSimple plans to start fleet testing its autonomous technology on roads in the U.S. and China.

After recently raising $55 million in Series C investment funding, TuSimple, an autonomous vehicle developer based in Shanghai, China, will begin to scale-up testing of its Level 4 self-driving technology to two full truck fleets, one in China and one in the U.S.

The company, founded in 2015, also plans to build-out a production engineering team in Tucson, AZ, with this latest round of investment cash, as well as fund further research and development at its San Diego, CA, and Beijing, China, locations.

“Human error and driver fatigue account for a large portion of truck accidents [and we] are proud that our research and development efforts can help bring innovation to the trucking market and make the roads safer for everyone,” noted Mo Chen, CEO of TuSimple, in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with our investors to help make freight movement safer, smarter and cleaner.”

In July, TuSimple successfully completed a 170 mile public road test from San Diego, CA, to Yuma, AZ, using its Level 4 or “L4” system, with the technology handing the entire route with no human intervention.

The company said it started testing its L4 autonomous truck on public roads in China back in September and has already accumulated over 15,000 autonomous miles.

TuSimple added that it is scheduled to begin testing its L4 truck platform in Arizona by the end of this year.

The company noted that its “full-stack” self-driving system combines technology for perception, localization, mapping, motion planning, control and actuation for use in autonomous trucking.

The company said its package collects data from cameras and radars through advanced sensor fusion to detect and track objects at distances over 200 meters, with “localization technology” achieving consistent decimeter-level precision, even in challenging environments such as tunnels.

Meanwhile, its decision-making system dynamically adapts to road conditions, changing lanes and adjusting driving speeds to maximize safety and efficiency.

TuSimple said it plans to focus on line-haul trucking, transporting cargo between ports, plants, warehouses, and distribution centers.

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