San Diego-based TuSimple, which operates a separate unit in China, has 40 18-wheelers operating out of its depot in Tucson, Arizona, and is "essentially running 24/7" carrying loads between Phoenix and El Paso, Texas, chief product officer Chuck Price tells Forbes. It's a tiny freight operation compared to the massive fleets of national haulers like J.B. Hunt, Swift, Werner and Amazon AMZN, each with thousands of trucks and drivers, but no company has more self-driving semis than TuSimple, based on U.S. Transportation Department registry data.
That plan will include highway lanes enabled for self-driving trucks and terminals stretching from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Fla., over the next two to three years, and eventually across the Lower 48 states, said Cheng Lu, TuSimple's president. Top news and in-depth analysis on the world of logistics, from supply chain to transport and technology. The company's fleet of 40 trucks now operates autonomously on seven routes between Phoenix, Tucson, Ariz., El Paso, Tex. and Dallas, with a human operator on board each vehicle to take over if needed. TuSimple plans to pilot fully autonomous driverless service next year, the company said, and aims to expand those operations nationwide in 2023 and 2024 with the help of commercialized technology it is developing with German car-parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen AG. To get there, TuSimple is building out lanes and terminals connected by high-definition routing maps that function "like virtual railroad tracks" for its retrofitted big rigs, Mr. Lu said.
China may be gearing up to pull ahead of the U.S. in the race to overhaul road delivery with fleets of self-driving long-haul trucks. A number of companies are developing automation technologies that promise to lower costs, reduce accidents, and improve overall efficiency for the trucking industry by allowing drivers to make longer trips that include periods of rest. In Europe and the U.S., Volvo, Daimler, Uber, and others are testing trucks capable of driving themselves under expert supervision. But several Chinese-based companies are working on automated trucks, and lenient regulations as well as a desire to overhaul the country's chaotic trucking industry may smooth the way for the technology's introduction. This could provide a handy edge in the race to develop a lucrative new way of hauling goods.
San Diego-based apps and security company Edge has secured $400,055 in seed funding, according to company database Crunchbase, topping the city's recent funding headlines. The cash infusion was announced on August 19. According to its Crunchbase profile, "Edge is an SDK platform that enables its users to develop security applications for its clients. Its product range includes client-side encryption, data backup, password recovery, blockchain technology, private key authentication, IoT, financial applications, bitcoin and private messaging. Edge (formerly Airbitz) was founded in 2014 and is based in California."