Mega Carriers Partner with TuSimple in Historic Deal to Run Driverless Trucks Nationwide

San Diego, CA – Four of trucking’s biggest and most powerful companies are partnering with a self-driving truck maker with the goal of expanding driverless truck operations nationwide by the end of 2024.

On Wednesday, TuSimple, a global autonomous trucking technology company, announced the launch of the world’s first Autonomous Freight Network (AFN).


The company described its AFN as “an ecosystem consisting of autonomous trucks, digital mapped routes, strategically placed terminals, and TuSimple Connect, a proprietary autonomous operations monitoring system.”

“Our ultimate goal is to have a nationwide transportation network consisting of mapped routes connecting hundreds of terminals to enable efficient, low-cost long-haul autonomous freight operations,” said Cheng Lu, President, TuSimple. “By launching the AFN with our strategic partners, we will be able to quickly scale operations and expand autonomous shipping lanes to provide users access to autonomous capacity anywhere and 24/7 on-demand.”


Partnering with TuSimple in the launch of the AFN are UPSPenske Truck LeasingU.S. Xpress (which operates a fleet of 7,000 trucks) and McLane, a Berkshire Hathaway company and one of the largest supply chain services leaders in the United States.

Virtual Drivers… A Better Way Forward?

In a promotional video titled “A Better Way Forward,” released with the announcement of the AFN, TuSimple poses the following:

What if technology could change the world for the better? What if we could create a virtual driver who never drinks, never texts and never gets tired? What if you could transport freight coast-to-coast in 36 hours? What if you had nearly unlimited freight capacity? What if we could distribute more foods and supplies to more people faster? What if you could make trucks more efficient and reduce their carbon footprint? What if you could stabilize and protect supply chains against the unexpected? What if you could lower the cost of freight transportation by 30%?


WATCH the video below.

Three Phase Plan to go Nationwide by 2024

The AFN will roll-out in three phrases, and promises to lay the groundwork for self-driving autonomous trucks to become commercially available by 2024:

• Phase I (2020-21) will offer service between the cities of PhoenixTucsonEl PasoDallas, Houstonand 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.


TuSimple intends to replicate a similar strategy in Europe and Asia after the AFN rolls out nationwide.

As Transportation Nation Network (TNN) reported earlier this week, TuSimple has hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to help raise $250 million from investors in an effort to continue to scale its operations.


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USDOT Helping Blaze The Path to Nationwide Acceptance

A backdrop to today’s announcement is the United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) stated objective to lead the world in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles.


The USDOT is working in concert with technology makers to speed public acceptance of autonomous driving technologies.

Click HERE to read more on the USDOT’s latest effort.



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Comment (2)

  1. Why aren’t none of these companies talking about the man or woman that they all depend on now? I feel like if they say anything now these trucking companies would fall hard if this conversation got out to the people. We witness Tesla having several accident from autonomous driving. I don’t wish hurt on anyone but I believe these trucks will only be able to drive straight and back up. How a self driving truck will handle snow,ice,wind or cars cutting them off. I am writing my local government’s official and voice my opinion how not to allow you to escape liability for these trucks hurt the public. I also feel these companies need to be held accountable for job loss and be held to pay more for loading and unloading sense they say it’s going to be cost effective. Ups you are a unionized company what are your plans for union brothers and sisters. I believe any negative reaction and news will hurt these companies by trying to put AI over people and there families. The cost of technology would have boosted the companies workforce and stop driver shortage if you cowards would of invest in people. People built your company now you abandoned them for profit, while you CEO’s get rich off of people blood,sweat,and tears. Yall have no morals and values. Please remember my username I will with every breath educating the people that work for you and others that you are trying to phase us out. You got a fight on your hands.

  2. you people already got trucks out here on the road that automatically throw their damn brakes on make drivers sign papers taking full responsibility of anything that happens when the truck throws the truck into a breaking mode and the driver cannot recover it because a car cut him off or cut him short and it’s his fault not only that when the truck throws in the brake mode because someone cut them off and got them short or pulled out in front of them and they lose control of it on snow and ice which is going to happen and somebody gets killed you all are going to be sued and you’re going to lose everything you got now you want to put trucks on the damn road without a driver in them letting the computer run it what are you going to do when every damn one of you companies lose your ass because you’re sued for billions of dollars and fatalities due to these trucks you all are morons you’ll never take the driver out of the truck because it doesn’t think or react like a human does computers only react to what their programs for so congratulations You’re going to commit mass murder


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