TuSimple, the self-driving truck company that went public this year has collaborated with Ryder to expand its freight network that will back its autonomous trucking operations. The fleet maintenance services of Ryder will act as terminals, according to the deal announced recently.
The Autonomous freight network (AFN) of the company is an assembly of terminals and shipping routes built for autonomous trucking operations that will extend across the US by 2024. The inaugural partners in the network include supply chain company McLane Inc. of Berkshire Hathaway's grocery and food service, Penske Truck Leasing, carrier U.S. Xpress, and UPS, which took a minority stake in TuSimple before it went public.
The company's AFN features four parts that incorporate self-driving trucks, digital mapped routes, freight terminals, and a framework that will enable customers to keep track of autonomous trucking operations and monitor their shipments in real-time. The services offered by Ryder will basically act as strategic terminals where TuSimple trucks can receive maintenance and have sensors employed in the self-driving framework calibrated, if necessary.
Cheng Lu, TuSimple President, and CEO stated:
These trucks need to be serviceable and maintainable and they need to have higher uptime, which is what every carrier cares about regardless of whether it is autonomous or not.
Right now, TuSimple has 50 autonomous trucks in its fleet that, along with a human safety operator behind the wheel, transport freight for customers in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The collaboration will initially employ services provided by Ryder in these areas and ultimately extend to 500 maintenance facilities of the company in the U.S.
TuSimple said that it has plans of expanding operations to the East Coast, transporting freight between Phoenix and Orlando later this year. It also has approximately 25 new trucks on order which will be added to the fleet upon their arrival.
Source and image: TechCrunch