TuSimple, a global autonomous trucking technology company, announced the launch of the world’s first Autonomous Freight Network (AFN), an ecosystem consisting of autonomous trucks, digital mapped routes, strategically placed terminals, and TuSimple Connect, a proprietary autonomous operations monitoring system. Collectively these components work together to create the safest and most efficient way to bring self-driving trucks to market. Partnering with TuSimple in the launch of the Autonomous Freight Network are UPS, Penske Truck Leasing, U.S. Xpress, who operates one of the largest carrier fleets in the country, and McLane, a Berkshire Hathaway company and one of the largest supply chain services leaders in the United States.
The Autonomous Freight Network will roll-out in three phrases, and lays the groundwork for self-driving autonomous trucks to become commercially available by 2024:
- Phase I (2020-21) will offer service between the cities of Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.
- Phase II (2022-23) will expand AFN service from Los Angeles to Jacksonville and connect the east coast with the west.
- Phase III (2023-24) will expand driverless operations nationwide adding major shipping routes throughout the lower 48 states allowing customers to utilize their own TuSimple equipped autonomous trucks on the AFN by 2024.
The company will replicate the strategy in Europe and Asia after the AFN rolls out nationwide.
U.S. Xpress with a fleet size of 7,000 operating across the country, will provide additional lanes to aid TuSimple’s L4 technology learning. With access to more lanes, TuSimple can advance its understanding of and refine its responses on the road, making it safer for professional truck drivers and those they share the highways with.