TuSimple (NASDAQ:TSP) announced its partnership with European transport and logistics provider, Hegelmann Group, to reserve a SAE Level 4 (L4) Autonomous International Trucks for operation in North America.
The business partnership is primed for both companies to offer solutions to address the ongoing driver shortage while lowering greenhouse gas emissions and improving vehicle and environmental safety. Hegelmann’s reservation of production units using TuSimple’s technology is the first move in developing a new logistics network in North America called the TuSimple Autonomous Freight Network (AFN).
“TuSimple’s innovations will elevate our ability to compete and prosper in the North American market and are analogous to our stated objective to become a global logistics technology adopter. Undoubtedly autonomous trucks with TuSimple technology are the future of transportation, and Hegelmann’s strategy is to likewise be a standard bearer for innovations that push safety and efficiency to the next era of logistics excellence,” said Andrew Jasinskas, business development project manager for Hegelmann USA.
TuSimple’s game is autonomous driving technology for long-haul heavy-duty trucks from San Diego, California. The company also has operations in Arizona, Texas, Europe, and China. TuSimple also became the world’s first autonomous trucking company in 2021 to complete a fully autonomous driverless semi-truck run on open public roads. No driver and no human intervention. The company also put together the first autonomous trucking lane in the United States. The company’s plans include scaling its autonomous commercial freight operations on the AFN.
The Hegelmann Group, in comparison, was founded in 1998 in Germany. It has established many branches and become a transcontinental, international company on a professional high level. The company has been in business for 24 years, and it has its own fleet of more than 5000 vehicles and resulting know-how, and the company provides a wide range of logistics solutions.
The trucks will come equipped with TuSimple’s autonomous driving system, based on a world-class global vehicle platform originally developed by Navistar. Early studies demonstrate that autonomous trucks in this network have the potential to reduce fuel consumption for middle mile transportation.
“We are pleased to add Hegelmann to our rapidly growing fleet partners who wish to adopt, integrate, and scale SAE L4 truck operation in the United States. Hegelmann chose TuSimple as their autonomous vehicle technology partner due to TuSimple’s leadership in the rapidly approaching full-commercialization of autonomous vehicles,” said Lee White, vice president of Strategy.
The company’s demonstration of the industry first Driver Out autonomous trucking run will continue in 2022 in preparation for full commercialization. The pilot program took a year and a half of work to co-develop a L4 autonomous class 8 vehicle with Navistar to demonstrate the level of redunancy, reliability, consistency and safety needed to actually remove the driver from the truck.
Nearing the end of 2023, the company intends to carry paid freight operations in the southern United States.