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Self-driving supply trucks to be tested on Arizona roads

(Weibo Photo)

PHOENIX — A firm that specializes in self-driving technologies will begin testing supply trucks in Arizona this year.

According to Transport Topics News, TuSimple, based out of Beijing and San Diego, has a supplier that is willing to test the technology on the 120-mile drive from Tucson to Phoenix.

Chuck Price, vice president and president of product, said the testing will take place during the first half of the year.

“By September, we will move to [operating for] a commercial shipper of cargo to generate revenues,” he said.

The trucks will run at a a high level of automation in which the trucks will be able to drive without the need of human control except for some circumstances, such as a traffic jam.

Price said drivers will be behind the wheel during the Arizona runs.

TuSimple successfully ran trials last summer on its Level 4 system in China and on a 200-mile drive from San Diego to Yuma.

The company does not manufacture the trucks but provides the technology and computer systems used.

TuSimple hopes to eventually develop fully self-driving trucks.

“Our plan is to be the first commercial [Class 8] operator. It’s not our goal to just do demos and get acquired,” Price said. “We build technology that really works. We want to be out of Silicon Valley where there is pressure to get bought.”

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