Today UPS announced that the multinational parcel delivery company has taken a minority stake in autonomous truck driving startup, TuSimple, only a few months after the companies started experimenting with idea of self-driving trucks in the state of Arizona. The amount invested by UPS Ventures wasn’t revealed.
This move comes at a period when UPS is searching for fresh ways to keep up with the times and reduce their costs. TuSimple is confident that it can provide UPS with means to achieve their goals. The startup believes it is capable of dropping the average purchased transportation costs by 30 percent.
TuSimple has strong ambitions
With support from Nvidia, ZP Capital, and Sina Corp., TuSimple is pushing for a “full-stack solution”, which basically means creating and assembling all of the technological parts needed for the self-driving product. They’re establishing a Level 4 system, a term from the Society of Automotive Engineers which means that the vehicle handles every aspect of the driving under specific conditions.
A crucial component of TuSimple’s tactic is their camera-centric perception system. The feature boasts a range of vision that extends to 1,000 meters (3,280ft). Although the time of fully automated trucking isn’t upon us just yet, UPS feels that it’s worthwhile to get into the field at the ground level.
“UPS is committed to developing and deploying technologies that enable us to operate our global logistics network more efficiently,” said Chief Strategy Officer at UPS, Scott Price. “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.”