A Chinese truck equipped with TuSimple's autonomous control system crosses the Donghai Bridge during a recent test run in Shanghai.  -  Photo: TuSimple

A Chinese truck equipped with TuSimple's autonomous control system crosses the Donghai Bridge during a recent test run in Shanghai.

Photo: TuSimple

Autonomous technology developer TuSimple announced it has successfully completed China’s first fully autonomous semi-truck runs on open public roads without a human in the vehicle and without human intervention.

TuSimple said the "driver-out" run was conducted on designated public roads approved by the Shanghai government. The course included the Yangshan Deep-water Port Logistics Park and Donghai Bridge.

The Driver Out run was operated by TuSimple China’s Autonomous Driving System without a human on-board, without remote human control of the vehicle, and without traffic intervention. In order to ensure public safety, the TuSimple China team worked closely with government regulators and law enforcement and implemented a safety vehicle to ensure safety during the run.  

'Driver-Out' Autonomous Operations

Over the course of approximately 62 kilometers, TuSimple China's autonomous truck demonstrated its capability to navigate complex road and weather conditions in both urban and highway environments within the port area. This included traffic signals, on-ramps, off-ramps, lane changes, emergency lane vehicles, partial lane closures, fog, and crosswinds.

The driver-out program in China represents more than two years of intense development. TuSimple said the demonstration shows its commitment to developing an autonomous driving system that fulfills the SAE Level 4 requirements, with a strong emphasis on redundancy, reliability, and stability to enable safe and fully driverless operations on open roads.

"Being the first to conduct a driver-out run in China is a significant milestone," said Cheng Lu, president and CEO of TuSimple. "Following on from our successful driver-out run in the United States in 2021, this accomplishment marks another pivotal breakthrough for TuSimple."

Late last year, TuSimple announced it was cutting staff and focusing on research, development, and “operationalizing” its technology. The restructuring involved a 25% reduction of TuSimple’s total workforce, about 350 people. Of the remaining staff, 80% are in research and development, many of them engineers critical to hardware and software resilience, reliability, safety, and information security. The majority of the restructuring was in TuSimple’s U.S. operations.

The restructuring marked the end of a difficult year for the company, which included investigations into improper technology-sharing, executive shake-ups, and the end of a partnershp with Navistar,

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