Three Mega Fleets Buy Ownership in Driverless Tech Company to “Accelerate Adoption”

San Diego, CA – Three of trucking’s largest fleets are hoping to cash in on the emerging autonomous trucking business.

Schneider National, Werner Enterprises and U.S. Xpress Enterprises (USX) each announced equity investments in California-based TuSimple, an autonomous trucking technology company intent on disrupting the trucking industry and displacing truck drivers.




 

In a release by USX, the Chattanooga, TN-based mega carrier said it was making a “significant financial investment” in order to assist TuSimple in “bringing to market an autonomous solution for long-haul freight transportation.”

USX has been testing TuSimple’s technology on select lanes for some of its major customers since 2019.

Additionally, USX explained it was making the investment due in part to CDL driver “shortages caused by reduced CDL school graduates and the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse.”

The company also stated autonomous trucks will provide “additional options for its shippers and fold into a robust portfolio of solutions.”




 

Werner said part of its calculus in making such an investment was driven by improving “safety and fuel efficiency.”

“Through this investment, Werner demonstrates its focus on the growth and deployment of automated driving systems, the regulations required for increased safety, reduced carbon emissions and eventual industry adoption,” a Werner statement said.

Schneider described its investment in TuSimple as “nominal.”

The announcement of these investments come only hours after TuSimple revealed the formation of an Executive Advisory Board (EAB) on which the CEOs of these mega carriers will serve.




 

The EAB will advise TuSimple’s senior management team on how to “accelerate the adoption of autonomous long-haul freight in areas including regulation, technology, freight logistics, and leadership,” the company said.

From the CEOs…

Eric Fuller, President and CEO, USX:

“We’re passionate about finding innovative solutions to industry challenges and investing now will give us a clear advantage when this technology matures in the years to come. Additionally, the Executive Advisory Board is bringing together market-specific insight from across the industry to help drive the development and adoption of this important technology.”

 

Derek Leathers, President and CEO, Werner Enterprises:

“At Werner, our professional drivers are the backbone of our organization, and they work day-in and day-out to keep America moving. Staying current with emerging technologies helps us remain focused on improving our drivers’ lives, keeping them safer, providing our drivers with best-in-class equipment and helping them achieve long-term careers in the trucking industry.”




 

Mark Rourke, President and CEO, Schneider National:

“While fully autonomous vehicles still have development and regulatory work ahead, we are encouraged by the advances in autonomous technology such as braking and other systems that are helping drivers make our roads safer. Schneider will work to test and understand over the coming years how this technology will complement our professional over-the-road driver associates and provide new, innovative opportunities for shippers.”

Photo courtesy of TuSimple

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