TuSimple and Ryder System Inc. have announced a partnership that aims to leverage select Ryder fleet maintenance facilities to serve as terminals on TuSimple’s autonomous freight network (AFN). The announcement comes as TuSimple expands its footprint across the U.S. to meet rising consumer demands.
Through the partnership, TuSimple and Ryder will work together to identify existing Ryder facilities to serve as terminals along the TuSimple AFN. Terminals are secure facilities and serve as the start and endpoint for autonomous driving missions. These facilities can have multiple heavy-duty trucks and trailers come and go 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, the companies noted. By adding more terminals to TuSimple’s AFN, shippers and fleets will have better access to autonomous freight operations. Leveraging Ryder’s existing freight trucking terminals, TuSimple will be able to more quickly scale across the country without needing to build new facilities.
Today, TuSimple’s fleet of more than 50 SAE Level 4 autonomous trucks transport freight for customers across the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Later this year, TuSimple expects to expand operations to the east coast, carrying freight between Phoenix, Arizona, and Orlando, Florida.
“The trucking industry is on the verge of a massive disruption, and we’re seeing strong demand for access to reliable autonomous capacity from shippers, carriers, and fleets,” said Cheng Lu, president and CEO at TuSimple. “The partnership with Ryder will enable us to grow our operational footprint to continue to meet these needs and set the pace for industry adoption.”
Initially, the partnership will focus on Ryder’s facilities in the southern U.S. However, with Ryder’s nationwide network of more than 500 maintenance facilities, the partnership has the potential to rapidly scale.
“With this partnership, we believe Ryder is positioned to become a leader in the servicing of autonomous trucks,” said Karen Jones, EVP, CMO, and head of new product innovation at Ryder. “Ryder is focused on how to best leverage our vast location footprint, maintenance operations, and visibility tools to lead in the future world of autonomy. Partnering with TuSimple will help bring autonomous operations to market more quickly, while also providing Ryder access to new and emerging revenue streams.”