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UPS Quietly Using Self-Driving Trucks For Months

Published: August 19, 2019
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Source: moneymaven.io

UPS teamed up with TuSimple in May for autonomous delivery of cargo.

Gizmodo reports UPS Has Been Delivering Cargo in Self-Driving Trucks for Months And No One Knew.

UPS announced on Thursday that its venture capital arm has made a minority investment in TuSimple. The announcement also revealed that since May TuSimple autonomous trucks have been hauling UPS loads on a 115-mile route between Phoenix and Tucson.

UPS confirmed to Gizmodo this is the first time UPS has announced it has been using TuSimple autonomous trucks to deliver packages in the state.

Around the same time as the UPS and TuSimple program began, the United States Postal Service and TuSimple publicized a two-week pilot program to deliver mail between Phoenix and Dallas, a 1,000 mile trip.

TuSimple claims it can cut the average cost of shipping in a tractor-trailer by 30 percent. In an announcement about the new partnership, UPS Ventures managing partner, Todd Lewis, said the venture arm “collaborates with startups to explore new technologies and tailor them to help meet our specific needs.”

UPS would not share the terms of the deal with Gizmodo. TuSimple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

TuSimple puts its own autonomous tech—which relies on nine cameras and two LIDAR sensors—in Navistar vehicles.

 

TuSimple Video

 

Zero engagements in a storm.

TuSimple is now hooked up with both UPS and the US Post Office (USPS).

On February 16, I commented Self-Driving Truck Startup "TuSimple" Confident of Commercial Driverless by 2021.

The company’s cameras can see about 1,000 meters, or 3,280 feet ahead, said Chuck Price, TuSimple’s chief product officer. “From a half mile away we can spot emergency vehicles, cars broken down on the side of the road, people walking around,” said Price.

We are confident that we will have our first commercial driverless operation in late 2020 to 2021,” Mr. Price said.

Technology Not the Holdup

For now there are backup drivers. That will change within the next two years.

The main holdup is not technology but federal legislation.

Commercial driverless will be here by the end of 2021 if federal regulation allows, which I expect.

 

Then, within a few years of federal regulatory approval, most interstate highway truck traffic will be driverless.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Related Articles:

Carmaking giants and ride-sharing upstarts racing to put autonomous vehicles on the road are dead set on replacing drivers, and that includes truckers. Trucks without human hands at the wheel could be on American roads within a decade, say analysts and industry executives. At risk is one of the most common jobs in many states, and one of the last remaining careers that offer middle-class pay to those without a college degree. There are 1.7 million truckers in America, and another 1.7 million drivers of taxis, buses and delivery vehicles. That compares with 4.1 million construction workers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - The "System" Won't Survive The Robots

It’s really just a matter of time; the working man’s deal with his overseers is half dead already. But there’s still inertia in the system, and even the losers are keeping the faith. Hope dies slowly, after all. Nonetheless, the deal is collapsing and a new wave of robots will kill it altogether. Unless the overseers can pull back on technology – very fast and very hard – the deal that held through all our lifetimes will unwind.

A convoy of self-driving trucks recently drove across Europe and arrived at the Port of Rotterdam. No technology will automate away more jobs — or drive more economic efficiency — than the driverless truck. Shipping a full truckload from L.A. to New York costs around $4,500 today, with labor representing 75 percent of that cost. But those labor savings aren’t the only gains to be had from the adoption of driverless trucks.

Robot trucks also don’t need salaries?—?salaries that stand to go up because fewer and fewer people want to be truckers. A company can buy a fleet of self-driving trucks and never pay another human salary for driving. The only costs will be upkeep of the machinery. No more need for health insurance either. Self-driving trucks will also never need to stop to rest, for any reason. Routes will take less time to complete.

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