New partnership to bring world's first self-driving truck network to North America
TuSimple and Navistar International have entered into a partnership to co-develop a U.S. network of self-driving trucks targeted for production by 2024.
The partnership will see the companies move away from retrofitting the Navistar International commercial trucks that TuSimple currently uses in favor of developing semi trucks designed specifically for autonomous driving.
TuSimple currently operates a fleet of 40 self-driving trucks in the U.S. used for testing purposes and to carry freight between Arizona and Texas. It plans to demonstrate completely driverless operations in 2021.
The company is now creating digital routes, terminals, and a monitoring system that tracks its trucks to create a well-rounded and safe autonomous network, according to the San Diego-headquartered company.
“Autonomous technology is entering our industry and will have a profound impact on our customers’ businesses,” said Persio Lisboa, President and CEO, Navistar.
“Navistar’s strategic partnership with TuSimple positions us to be a leader in developing solutions for our customers by leveraging our organizations’ collective expertise to integrate our vehicle design and systems integration capabilities with TuSimple’s innovative autonomous technology.
"This announcement marks a significant milestone in our development journey with TuSimple and we look forward to furthering our relationship in the months to come.”
Navistar brings 113 years of experience in developing commercial vehicles and bringing them to the market under the International and IC Bus brands. The program between TuSimple and Navistar will ensure a fully integrated engineering solution that will be ready for mass-production using Navistar’s vehicle manufacturing capabilities.
Customers will be able to purchase the fully autonomous trucks through Navistar’s traditional sales channels in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“TuSimple and Navistar began joint development of pre-production units in 2018 and now we are kicking off a full go-to-market production program,” said Cheng Lu, President, TuSimple.
“We are honored to be partnered with Navistar. The investment in TuSimple and the partnership with Navistar marks an important milestone for our company. With the combined expertise of Navistar and TuSimple, we have a clear path to commercialize self-driving Class 8 trucks at scale.”
The partnership is the result of a successful technical relationship between the companies for more than two years. In addition, Navistar has taken a minority stake in TuSimple.