With cooperation from the Chinese government, TuSimple, a Chinese autonomous driving startup, has signed an agreement that will allow it to test autonomous trucks on public roads by Oct. 2017.
TuSimple signed the strategic cooperation agreement with the Caofeidian District of Tangshan in the Hebei Province of northeastern China. The Caofeidian government will coordinate policies and regulations for the test site and infrastructure and TuSimple will set up a research and development center in the district to modify autonomous trucks, conduct closed-venue and highway road tests, collect data and improve algorithms.
Tangshan is located near the Chinese capital of Beijing and there are several major highways within the district that make it favorable for the development of automated logistics, according to TuSimple.
The Chinese government intends to expand the scope of Beijing as a regional hub and has incorporated Beijing and nearby Tianjin and Hebei into its development plan. This allowed TuSimple to quickly gain policy support from the Caofeidian government.
The TuSimple autonomous technology is designed to allow a single driver to lead a fleet of unmanned trucks on a highway to reduce problems such as labor shortages and fatigued driving. Unlike complex road conditions in urban scenarios, TuSimple’s highway automatic driving is designed to be simpler and easier to commercialize.