What happened: Autonomous truck startup TuSimple, which has operations in China and the US, has been awarded a contract to haul United States Postal Service trailers between Dallas and Phoenix, a trip that spans around 1,600 kilometers. The pilot will last two weeks, and each truck will be run for 22 hours, which includes overnight driving. A safety engineer will be present on all trips.
Why it’s important: TuSimple has been running daily routes for customers in Arizona and was last year permitted to test its trucks on selected roads in Shanghai. The company has partnered with Chinese automakers Shaanxi Automotive and Sinotruck and seeks to commercialize its technology by next year. The majority of the attention given to autonomous vehicles has focused on self-driving cars, but the logistics industry could see huge increases in efficiency as a result of autonomous trucking, which would be evident in the growing e-commerce market.