TuSimple Becomes First to Successfully Operate Fully Autonomous Truck on Public Roads in China

  • June 20, 2023

Autonomous technology developer TuSimple announced it has successfully completed China’s first full autonomous semi-truck runs on open public roads without a human in the vehicle and without human intervention.

“The Driver Out” (without a human in the vehicle, without human intervention, and without traffic intervention) was conducted on previously designated public roads approved by the Shanghai government, including Yangshan Deep-water Port Logistics Park and Donghai Bridge. TuSimple’s autonomous truck demonstrated for approx. 62 km its capability to navigate complex road and weather conditions in both urban and highway environments within the port area. This included traffic signals, on-ramps, off-ramps, lane changes, emergency lane vehicles, partial lane closures, fog and crosswinds.

“Being the first to conduct a Driver Out run in China is a significant milestone,” said Cheng Lu, President and CEO of TuSimple. “Following on from our successful Driver Out run in the United States in 2021, this accomplishment marks another pivotal breakthrough for TuSimple and further underscores our leadership in the autonomous driving industry.”

The Driver Out program in China represents more than two years of intense development, demonstrating TuSimple’s commitment to developing an autonomous driving system that fulfills the SAE Level 4 requirements, with a strong emphasis on redundancy, reliability, and stability to enable safe and fully driverless operations on open roads.

TuSimple said the trucks navigated 100% of the runs with no disengagements. The autonomous system did encounter one so-called “minimal risk condition” due to a scenario that was outside of the truck’s operational design domain, a spokesperson of TuSimple commented.

It’s not clear when TuSimple aims to commercialize in the country though the tests in China will continue further, which suggests that TuSimple is focusing on its Asia business.

Earlier this month, TuSimple began tests of its autonomous truck in Japan, marking further investment in Asian markets.