Screenshot via TuSimple

Screenshot via TuSimple

TuSimple, a Chinese autonomous truck startup, has chosen Tucson, Arizona, as the site of its autonomous truck development and testing, according to a report in the Tucson Sentinel.

The company chose a site in Tucson because of Arizona laws that allow the for the testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads – which has been an issue for some Silicon Valley companies in California – and because of the lower cost of living and proximity to a skilled workforce.

The company will operate out of a warehouse on the west side of the city with as many as 30 engineers rotating between Tuscon and the company’s San Diego office. TuSimple plans to begin testing its vehicles on Arizona highways within months with a fleet of 10-25 vehicles.

The company is ultimately working toward completely autonomous vehicles, but plans to test current technologies with drivers in the cab, building up millions of test miles to prove the safety of self-driving vehicles.

TuSimple is being backed by computer chip maker Nvidia, which recently announced an investment in TuSimple, and has already worked with Paccar on self-driving truck technology through its Nvidia Drive PX 2 artificial intelligence computing platform, powered by the company’s computer chips.