UPS has taken a minority stake in TuSimple, the autonomous driving company it is working with to test self-driving tractor trailers.
It has been providing truckloads of goods for TuSimple to carry on a North American freight forwarding route between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.
UPS contracts with third-party trucking companies during its peak shipping season. TuSimple believes it could cut average purchased transport costs by 30 per cent.
Scott Price, UPS’s chief strategy and transformation officer, said: “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.”
TuSimple develops technology that will allow companies to operate self-driving class 8 tractor-trailers – those that exceed 33,000 pounds and typically have three or more axles.
Xiaodi Hou, founder and president, said: “We are honoured 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.”