In some instances, TuSimple found that autonomous trucks can acheive as much as 27% better fuel economy than human drivers. - Photo: TuSimple

In some instances, TuSimple found that autonomous trucks can acheive as much as 27% better fuel economy than human drivers. 

Photo: TuSimple

TuSimple announced that its recent On-Road Maneuver Performance Study on autonomous trucks revealed fuel efficiency improvements associated with autonomous driving systems.

The findings show TuSimple’s Level 4 (L4) autonomous technology averaged an 11% overall fuel efficiency advantage over manually driven trucks. This findings correlate with earlier tests TuSimple conducted.

In certain situations, the advantage was as high as 27%, TuSimple reported.

“Across the trucking industry, fleets and shippers are seeking ways to reduce fuel costs and limit greenhouse gas emissions for on-road vehicles, so we set out to evaluate how our L4 autonomous technology could help meet these objectives,” said Cheng Lu, president and CEO, TuSimple.

“While there is general industry consensus that autonomous vehicles’ smoother and more preemptive driving patterns can offer safety benefits, we now can clearly demonstrate the technology also reduces fuel consumption, which is better for the bottom line and the environment.”

Fuel and Emissons Savings Calculator

TuSimple said it analyzed more than 30,000 miles of highway driving, split roughly 50 – 50 between manually driven and autonomously driven miles. It then compared the fuel efficiency performance of the company’s professional drivers versus its autonomous driving system.

The primary objective of the study was to quantify the actual improvement in fuel economy for highway operations, as this represents a significant portion of the operational design domain (ODD) for long-haul trucks. Additionally, given the variation in operating conditions and fuel efficiency across different scenarios, TuSimple aimed to pinpoint the specific conditions where its autonomous driving technology excels in improving fuel efficiency.

As part of the study, TuSimple created a “Fuel and Emissions Savings” calculator. Owners and operators are able to select their fleet size, annual miles driven and it will compute not only fuel savings, but also the reduction in carbon emissions produced by an 11% increase in fuel efficiency.

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