TuSimple is close to building out the nation's first coast-to-coast autonomous freight network as it pursues development of self-driving technology.
In a November quarterly earnings call, the company unveiled efforts to map new routes between its operational hub in Dallas and Orlando and Charlotte. With a route established between Phoenix and Dallas, TuSimple's geographic reach covers nearly all the southern United States.
Both new routes will help the company expand its partnership with UPS, which has already accounted for 160,000 paid miles of freight hauling. While testing in automated mode, the company's trucks achieved a 13 percent fuel savings, TuSimple says, compared with human drivers.
TuSimple will further sideline human drivers this month. The company expects to follow competitors such as Gatik and Plus by removing human safety drivers from certain operations. In TuSimple's case, the company says it will go "driver out" during frequent trips between Phoenix and Tucson by the end of the year.
The company added 138 employees to its R&D division during the third quarter, bringing its head count to approximately 1,000 in R&D and 1,300 overall.