Trucking news and briefs for Friday, July 3, 2020:
Four large fleets to test TuSimple autonomous truck tech
Three major for-hire carriers and a large private fleet have partnered with autonomous truck developer TuSimple to test the company’s self-driving technologies in real-world operations over the next four years. As part of a plan to build out a geographical network of lanes nationwide, UPS, U.S. Xpress, Penske Truck Leasing and private fleet McLane plan this year to deploy TuSimple’s autonomous truck tech, which is a system that retrofits onto existing trucks.
This year, the four carriers will operate on highways between Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. That testing network builds on a $215 million round of funding the Arizona-based TuSimple received last February. It said then it intended to use the funds to expand its testing fleet in Arizona and then into Texas.
Testing on those lanes will take place through next year, TuSimple says. Then, in 2022-23, the companies plan to expand the autonomous network with a lane running between Los Angeles, California, and Jacksonville, Florida. Next, in 2023-2024, TuSimple says it intends to expand its network to operate nationwide.
The goal, says TuSimple, is to make its Level 4 autonomous system commercially viable by 2024.
With the new autonomous network, TuSimple says it is also launching TuSimple Connect, an autonomous operations monitoring system intended to ensure safe operations and allow shipper customers to track their freight in real-time.
Pilot to support veterans with customer donations
The Pilot Company is raising funds through an in-store roundup campaign for the Call of Duty Endowment, an organization dedicated to helping veterans.
Through July 13, customers at Pilot, Flying J and One9 Fuel Network stores can opt to round-up their purchases to the nearest whole dollar and donate the additional amount to CODE. When customers donate, 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Call of Duty Endowment to help veterans prepare and transition to civilian careers.
Due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, veterans are urgently seeking employment, and the Endowment’s grantee organizations recently reported a major increase in demand for their services and support.
CODE seeks to help veterans find high-quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the value vets bring to the workplace.