The Caofeidian government stated in the agreement that the government will coordinate policies and regulations regarding test site and infrastructure. TuSimple will set up a R&D center in Caofeidian to modify autonomous trucks, conduct closed-venue and highway road tests, collect data and optimize algorithms.
TuSimple uses a deep learning super-computer plus low cost vision/radar sensors to achieve reliable perception. Without using costly LiDar, this solution is particularly easy to commercialize. Earlier this year, its state-of-the-art technology broke 10 world records and ranked No. 1 in KITTI and Cityscapes, the most influential public leaderboard in autonomous driving. TuSimple has also joined hands with many Chinese heavy truck manufacturers and logistics companies to develop the first autonomous truck in China. After successful road tests, TuSimple will cooperate with logistics companies to establish an Automated Logistics Zone in Caofeidian, realizing the world's first commercial operation of automated logistics. Once the pilot program proves successful, TuSimple will expand its business in logistics and transportation nationwide by establishing joint venture plants, mass manufacturing driverless trucks and undertaking automated transportation of major highways.
Statistics show that in China, there are about 7.2 million trucks and 16 million truck drivers responsible for inter-city freight transport, producing over 300 billion worth of productive value. However, the cost of hiring truck drivers accounts for around 40% of the total cost, which takes a toll on trucking companies' profit margins. TuSimple provides a technology that allows a single driver to lead a fleet of unmanned trucks, which effectively solves problems like labor shortage, population aging, fatigue driving and thus helps reduce accident rates of long-distance driving.
Unlike complex road conditions in the urban scenarios, situation of highway automatic driving is relatively simpler and easier to commercialize. Besides TuSimple, Baidu, the Chinese search engine giant, has also developed its driverless trucks and cooperated with a Beijing truck manufacturer to produce super trucks, aiming to offer similar solutions. Thanks to low-cost solutions and regulation supports from the Chinese government, TuSimple and Baidu may be the first to realize commercialization of autonomous trucks in the world.
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