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Published: 02 April 2020

TuSimple and ZF Sign Powerful Partnership for Autonomous Technology

TuSimple is focused on the development of self-driving Class 8 commercial trucks and through the collaboration will be able to realize that with one of the largest Tier 1 suppliers of auto parts and technologies. With the partnership now in effect, the Chinese and German companies have set to co-develop a central computing platform for autonomous trucks, starting with the regions of China, North America and Europe.

The two companies will also be focusing on developing a sensing system which would consist of cameras, laser radars, and millimeter-wave radars, all of which are key in creating a technology that can generate three-dimensional maps of the environment surrounding a vehicle in 360 degrees in real time. In addition to that, the German counterpart of the partnership will also be providing engineering support to integrate TuSimple’s autonomous system into self-driving trucks.

Chuck Price, Chief Product Officer of TuSimple: “Working side by side with ZF to refine and integrate our production-ready technology has allowed us to optimize our hardware stack and focus on scaling these technologies to make it possible for autonomous-ready trucks to be mass produced.”

TuSimple was founded in 2015 and currently has a fleet operation that consists of more than 40 SAE Level 4 self-driving trucks that make up to 20 trips between Texas and Arizona on a weekly basis. With a safety engineer onboard, as well as a driver, these 40 trucks drive themselves while hauling trailers for 18 contracted companies, including American courier company UPS, announced not nearly a month ago. The agreement with UPS is part of a pilot program that aims to test TuSimple’s U.S. Society of Automotive Engineers-rated Level 4 autonomous technology, which allows a truck to self-drive without the need of a human operator.

TuSimple has come a long way in these past five years, especially after hitting the milestone of being one of the first companies to obtain licenses in its home country to test self-driving trucks in Shanghai two years ago. Future plans of the autonomous technology company include true driverless tests within the next year. By 2023, the Chinese company hopes to begin delivering autonomous trucks to buyers as a result of this collaboration with ZF.