As part of its plans to establish a network for freight that can support autonomous trucking, TuSimple (the self-driving truck business that was publicly traded earlier in the year) has joined forces with Ryder.
According to the agreement announced this week Ryder’s fleet maintenance facility will serve as terminals for TuSimple’s Freight Network. The autonomous freight network (or TuSimple AFN) is an assortment of routes and terminals that are designed to allow autonomous trucking. It will be available across all 50 states by 2024. UPS was a minority shareholder in TuSimple, and Penske Truck Leasing, U.S. Xpress and Berkshire Hathaway, who own McLane Inc., a grocery and food supply chain firm, were among the first partners.
The AFN of TuSimple includes four components. These include its autonomous trucks, digitally mapped routes and freight terminals. It also contains a system which will allow customers to monitor and track the trucking operation and their shipments.
Ryder’s terminals will be used primarily as strategic terminals, where TuSimple trucks may receive maintenance or have the sensors calibrated in self-driving systems. The terminals could be used in some instances as a hub to transfer smaller operators who might need cargo. According to Cheng Lu, CEO of TuSimple, this terminal is not intended to serve as a hub for customers to pick up cargo.
Lu stated that these trucks need to be maintained and serviceable. They also require higher uptime. This is something every carrier is concerned about, regardless of its autonomy.
These terminals can be used by small shippers or carriers to collect and drop off freight. Lu said that TuSimple can take freight to customers’ distribution centers in almost all cases. This is especially true for large-scale UPS operators. Lu explained that Ryder facilities are nodes or stops on the network, allowing TuSimple reach more customers in a wider geographic region.
This partnership will be implemented gradually. TuSimple owns 50 trucks that can autonomously transport cargo for clients in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Ryder’s facility in these regions will be used initially by the partnership. The company’s 500 facilities in the United States will eventually become the mainstay of the new partnership.
TuSimple stated that it plans to increase its operations on the East Coast and transport freight from Phoenix to Orlando in the future. TuSimple currently has 25 trucks in order and will add them to its fleet when they are available.
Publited Sat 31 July 2021 at 00:29.00 +0000