UPS invests in autonomous trucking company

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Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Structure

September 13, 2019

ATLANTA — UPS introduced its enterprise capital arm UPS Ventures is investing in autonomous driving firm TuSimple and testing self-driving tractor trailers.

The checks of self-driving vans began in Could 2019 on a route between Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona with a driver and engineer within the automobile, in response to UPS.

The corporate stated it needs to raised perceive what could be required for autonomous trucking in its community, at a stage the place “the vehicle’s onboard computer is in complete control at all times, eliminating manual intervention.”

TuSimple, based in 2015, goals to convey the primary self-driving truck to market with expertise for transport corporations to function self-driving tractor-trailers.

UPS famous that it contracts with third-party trucking corporations to deal with the inflow of shipments throughout its peak vacation transport season, and TuSimple believes it reduce the prices of that contracted trucking by 30 %.

“While fully autonomous, driverless vehicles still have development and regulatory work ahead, we are excited by the advances in braking and other technologies that companies like TuSimple are mastering,” stated UPS chief technique and transformation officer Scott Value in a written assertion. “All of these technologies offer significant safety and other benefits that will be realized long before the full vision of autonomous vehicles is brought to fruition,” he added.

The potential for autonomous automobiles was a topic of negotiations in talks for a UPS-Teamsters labor contract for drivers and others who deal with small packages.

The deal struck final yr requires the corporate to evaluation technological modifications with the union six months earlier than rolling out modifications, such because the deployment of supply drones, driverless automobiles or different improvements.

Late final yr, the specter of a strike by UPS Freight staff prompted the corporate to disrupt freight service. UPS Freight handles bulk shipments on pallets from shippers to shops, and when the union introduced the potential for a strike, the corporate quickly cleared its community of freight till staff accredited the brand new contract.

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