UPS has been quietly making moves to ensure the company remains competitive as the autonomous vehicle industry gains traction. The company announced last week that its VC arm UPS Ventures has taken a minority stake in TuSimple, an autonomous driving company committed to bringing the first self-driving truck to market.
“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.”
“UPS is committed to developing and deploying technologies that enable us to operate our global logistics network more efficiently,” said Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Scott Price. “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. All of these technologies offer significant safety and other benefits that will be realized long before the full vision of autonomous vehicles is brought to fruition – and UPS will be there, as a leader implementing these new technologies in our fleet.”
TuSimple and UPS are working together to test self-driving tractor trailers on a North American Freight Forwarding route between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona as a pilot to gauge whether the vehicles can deliver efficiencies within the UPS network. Founded in 2015, TuSimple holds that its technology has the ability to cut the costs of shipping goods via tractor trailer by 30 percent. The companies also have an established commercial relationship in which TuSimple provides transportation services to UPS.
“We are honored by UPS’s strategic investment and their vote of confidence in TuSimple, this proves their commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation,” says TuSimple’s Founder, President & CTO, Xiaodi Hou. “TuSimple is confident that it can accelerate bringing the first self-driving truck to market to increase road safety.”