Volkswagen's truck unit and autonomous driving firm TuSimple will develop self-driving trucks. Under a deal announced this week, TuSimple and Volkswagen’s Traton division will jointly develop the autonomous vehicles based on TuSimple's self-driving technology, which it's been testing on public roads since 2015.
- TuSimple currently operates a fleet of 40 self-driving trucks with backup safety drivers that transfer freight between Texas and Arizona.
- The entities want to build “Level 4” trucks, which would be fully driverless operations on predetermined routes and defined driving conditions. They would be trucks under the Traton brands.
- Traton will also take a minority stake in San Diego-based TuSimple, which also counts Nvidia, Sina, and Composite Capital as among its investors. The size of the stake remains undisclosed.
- Earlier this year, TuSimple announced plans to create automated trucks with Navistar and build a maps network that would expand its autonomous vehicles operations across the U.S. by 2024. TuSimple is also seeking to raise $250 million in a Series E round, which Traton could participate in.