The American multinational package delivery and supply chain management company, UPS recently announced that their venture capital division, UPS Ventures had taken a minority stake in TuSimple, an autonomous driving company from San Diego.
With this new investment and partnership, both companies are now testing self-driving tractor-trailers in Arizona to ascertain if the vehicles can improve efficiency and service across the UPS® network. The new partnership is an extension of an ongoing relationship between the two companies in which UPS has previously purchased transportation services from TuSimple.
A popular North American Freight Forwarding route between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona has been used for the tests, with UPS providing truckloads of goods for TuSimple to carry along the route.
UPS Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, 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 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.”
TuSimple was founded in 2015 to bring the first self-driving truck to market, decrease transportation costs, reduce carbon emissions and increase safety. As a result of TuSimple’s advancements in software and technology, shipping companies will be able to operate self-driving class 8 tractor-trailers – those that exceed 33,000 pounds and typically have three or more axles.
Founder, President & CTO of TuSimple, 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.”
Managing Partner for UPS Ventures, Todd Lewis added, “The UPS Ventures mission is to build collaborative relationships with early-stage companies that provide capabilities and insights that accelerate technological advancements within our network, UPS Ventures collaborates with startups to explore new technologies and tailor them to help meet our specific needs.”
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