UPS reveal they have been using autonomous trucks to deliver cargo

American package delivery service, UPS, recently revealed that they have been using autonomous trucking to deliver cargo in Arizona since May, in a sign that autonomous trucking could become commonplace sooner rather than later.

As part of the pilot expedition, UPS has partnered with autonomous trucking start-up, TuSimple, purchasing a minority stake in the San Diego based company.

The trials have involved trucks provided by TuSimple being fitted with a vision-based autonomous driving system that consists of nine cameras as the trucks eyes. Each truck also comes with a pair of LIDAR laser sensors as an additional measure.

This technology out of TuSimple has been in development since the start-up was founded in 2015 and is now making waves within the automotive technology sector after tech companies Nvidia and Sina provided their backing.

As part of the partnership, TuSimple will assist UPS in understanding the logistics and requirements necessary for level 4 autonomous trucking to be productive, as UPS looks to future-proof its business.

The vehicles will still require a driver and engineer to be on board during the trials as a safety precaution at this stage.

TuSimple had previously partnered with the United States Postal Service, carrying mail between distribution centres in Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas on a 1,000-mile journey in May of this year. Both parties reported very strong interest in discussing additional projects after positive results.

Original source: The Verge | UPS has been quietly delivering cargo using self-driving trucks

19 Aug 2019