Autonomous vehicles are undoubtedly the future of the automobile industry. Numerous startups in addition to existing automotive giants have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into developing and perfecting self-driving technologies. In addition to passenger cars, trucks are also a great bet for implementing self-driving technology. That’s exactly what TuSimple, an ambitious startup is aiming to do. After having attained the coveted unicorn status earlier this year, TuSimple is now preparing to conduct formal testing of its flagship technology. The startup would spend two weeks demonstrating its autonomous truck technology to the United States Postal Service (USPS).
It was reported that the company was awarded contract from the USPS to haul their trailers from Phoenix, Arizona to Dallas, Texas and back, a journey of over 1000 miles. The trucks would make the journey with a driver and a safety engineer onboard just to make sure accidents don’t happen. The self-driving system would also drive overnight on the interstate in order to complete its trip. If everything goes according to plan, it would serve as a validation of TuSimple’s systems and pave the way for additional contracts.
TuSimple is one of the multiple companies vying for a piece of the shipping and logistics market in the United States. The startup has raised a total of $178 million to date from various investors including Nvidia, ZP Capital, and Sina Corp. Self-driving trucks are seen as a great way to improve productivity and reduce labor costs and accidents.