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Self-driving truck company TuSimple raises $95 million in Series D funding

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TuSimple is developing a commercial-ready Level 4 (SAE) fully-autonomous driving solution for the logistics industry. TuSimple is the only self-driving truck company capable of driving from depot-to-depot without human intervention and does so every day for its customers. (Courtesy: TUSIMPLE)

SAN DIEGO — TuSimple, a global self-driving truck company, has raised $95 million in Series D funding based on a pre-money valuation of $1 billion.

The new capital investment will be used to fund TuSimple’s commercial ramp-up and product development.

With this round, TuSimple will continue to grow its commercial autonomous fleet, which makes daily fully-autonomous deliveries in Arizona, and soon in Texas, for large shippers and fleets, according to Dr. Xiaodi Hou, founder, president and chief technology officer.

The fleet allows the company to earn revenue while validating its SAE Level 4 fully-autonomous system, he said.

The company currently has 12 contracted customers and is making three to five delivery trips per day. It will use the funds to grow the fleet to over 50 trucks by June.

The investment will also be used to fund critical joint production programs with its OEM, Tier 1, and sensor partners in order to achieve full commercialization, Hou said. Suppliers essential to truck manufacturing are working with TuSimple on the integration of autonomous software with powertrain, braking and steering systems, an essential step for the commercial production and operation of self-driving trucks.

The $95 million financing was completed in December 2018.

This brings TuSimple’s total funding to date to $178 million. This latest round was led by Sina Corp., a technology company widely recognized for developing Weibo, a social media platforms. Composite Capital, a Hong Kong-based investment firm focused on consumer, technology and transportation companies globally also participated in this round.

“TuSimple consistently reaches their milestones on and ahead of schedule and we are confident that they are poised to bring the first commercial self-driving trucks to market,” said Colin Xie, vice general manager, investment department, Sina Corp. “We are focused on finding the global leaders in artificial intelligence and TuSimple is ahead of the pack. The combination of technical excellence and an impressive leadership team has propelled the company into unicorn status.”

“Autonomous driving is one of the most complex AI systems humans have ever built. After three years of intense focus to reach our technical goals, we have moved beyond research into the serious work of building a commercial solution,” Hou said. “We are thankful for the continued support of our investors and partners. This is not only a great sign of confidence in TuSimple, but also for the future of autonomous trucking.”

TuSimple’s Level 4 fully-autonomous semi-trucks are the only trucks capable of driving from depot-to-depot without human intervention, Hou said.

To support Level 4 driving on complex highway and local streets, the company has developed an innovative camera-centric perception solution that allows TuSimple’s trucks to see 1,000 meters ahead of the vehicle, Hou said, noting that the vision range is farther and delivers better visibility than any other autonomous driving system today.

This level of performance is essential for autonomous commercial trucks to operate safely at highway speeds — rain or shine, he said.

“TuSimple is aiming to transform the $800-billion U.S. trucking industry by increasing safety, lowering costs, reducing carbon emissions and providing tools to optimize fleet logistics for operators,” Hou said.

TuSimple is headquartered in San Diego and operates self-driving trucks out of Tucson, Arizona.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Andy Bud

    February 18, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    So it delivers LTL and last mile?

  2. The Queen of Trucks

    February 19, 2019 at 9:12 am

    “pre-evaluation” is a joke along with self driving trucks-

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Dupré Logistics expands shop, services in Pecos, Texas

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Dupré Logistics is a privately held, asset-based provider of transportation and logistics services that include energy and chemical transport, dedicated truck transportation, site logistics, and freight brokerage. (Courtesy: DUPRE LOGISTICS)

LAFAYETTE, La. — Because of growing business opportunities and demand in the region, Dupré Logistics has expanded its shop and services in Pecos, Texas.

Dupré Logistics has been operating in the West Texas area since late 2014.

The new facility, which is four times the size of its predecessor, will open at noon, June 3, with a Grand Opening Celebration that is open to the public and will include lunch.

The maintenance facility will service and maintain the Dupré fleet and will open for business to other Class 8 providers in the region. Along with the new and larger maintenance facility, Dupré is also building a housing unit to accommodate non-indigenous workers in light of the severe housing shortage in the area.

“For our company to be successful, it’s critical that we have adequate support for our fleet,” said Dominic Dupré, director of operations, Crude Oil Group. “A major key to the success of our business in this area is the ability to maintain our equipment adequately and quickly. The combination of a dry, dusty environment and subpar road conditions creates an unforgiving environment for a tractor and trailer.”

Dupré operates across Texas and southeast New Mexico hauling raw crude oil from the wellhead to pipeline injection sites and rail facilities. In the West Texas region, Dupré currently employs 40 drivers in the area and is looking to hire more.

“We’ve created similar shops open to the public in a few other spots across the country, but based on the demand in Pecos — and the distance to other maintenance shops, we believe our new facility will be beneficial to the region and save other fleets time and money,” said Scott Allen, director of fleet assets and maintenance.

Dupré Logistics is a privately held, asset-based provider of transportation and logistics services that include energy and chemical transport, dedicated truck transportation, site logistics, and freight brokerage. It specializes in tanker, hazmat, and petrochemical transportation and complex supply chain solutions in industrial and consumer products.

For more information about Dupré Logistics, go to www.duprelogistics.com.

 

 

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Utility Trailers Glade Spring, Virginia, plant receives Liberty Mutual safety award

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Glade Spring plant employees gather to celebrate the company’ safety award. Back row frim left, Ralph McMahan, Richard Carver, Rick Mitchell, Michael Phipps, Derrick McGhee, David Sturgill, Sam Hawkins, Tim Jones, Tim McVey. Middle Row: Sam Cassell, Marc Worley, Clarissa Bise, Lucas Jordan, Jeremy Casey, Coy Stokes, Linda Williams, Jeff Hendricks, Odie Barker Front Row: Keith Walsh and Richard Williams. (Courtesy: UTILITY TRAILER MANUFACTURING CO.)

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. — Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co., said that its Glade Spring, Virginia, manufacturing plant has received the Liberty Mutual Silver Safety Award from Liberty Insurance.

The award is based on the days away, restricted and transferred (DART) rate, which is calculated from the number of hours worked relative to the number of accidents at the plant

In 2018, Utility’s Glade Spring plant had a DART rate of only 1.36, with over 1.3 million worked hours. The average DART rate for the trailer manufacturing industry is significantly higher, at 3.9.  A Silver Safety Award is presented for DART rates that are at least 40% lower than the industry average rate.  The Glade Spring plant’s DART rate was nearly 1/3 of the industry rate.

“Receiving a safety award is an honor and takes a total team effort to accomplish. Keeping safety at the forefront everyday with employee participation is key to earning such an award. Employees identifying hazards, removing them, or managing them in the workplace, keeps us all safe,” said Keith Walsh, Utility’s Glade Spring Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Manager.

“This is the fifth Liberty Safety Award for the Glade Spring plant. This is a huge honor, particularly considering less than 0.5% of Liberty’s customers receive this award. More importantly, our employees are continuously focused on the safety of themselves and each other,” said Bob Griffis, corporate EHS manager for Utility Trailer Manufacturing, Co.

“Walking through the front door of the Glade Spring facility, the commitment this team has toward safety is obvious,” said Sam Cassell, Utility’s Glade Spring plant manager. “It is reflected by the five safety awards hanging on the wall. Each of our over 700 team members were part of achieving each of those awards. An award like this is more than a commitment towards doing the job safely, it is a commitment each team member has toward each other. Many of our employees will stop others, even managers, to point out safety issues. That is a commitment toward safety and to each other. I cannot express how proud I am of each person on the shop floor.”

Richard Williams of Liberty Mutual Insurance, Risk Control Services, presented the Safety Award to a group of Glade Spring employees on behalf of all Utility’s Glade Spring employees.

Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co. was founded in 1914 and designs and manufactures dry freight vans, flatbeds, refrigerated vans, Tautliner curtain-sided trailers, and aerodynamic technologies. Utility currently operates six trailer manufacturing facilities across North America.

For more information, visit www.utilitytrailer.com.

 

 

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Carrier Transicold upgrades dealer locator app

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The Carrier Transicold Dealers smartphone app for Google Android devices and Apple iOS devices has been improved with new features and expanded functionality. (Courtesy: CARRIER TRANSICOLD)

ATHENS, Ga. — Carrier Transicold’s free app for mobile devices that helps refrigerated truck operators find nearby Carrier Transicold dealerships has been upgraded with a fresh appearance, a significantly expanded dealer database and helpful new user features.

Now called “Carrier Transicold Dealers,” the app works with smartphones and tablets, so drivers can quickly and easily locate and connect to service operations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and, thanks to the 2019 update, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, according to Mary Udry, marketing manager, Carrier Transicold.

“The improved app now covers the entirety of the Americas – more than 300 dealerships in all,” Udry said. “And for the first time, it offers users multi-language support, enabling the choice of English, French, Spanish or Portuguese. The look and feel of the app has been modernized, making it more intuitive to use, and the amount of helpful reference material has been expanded.”

As part of the app’s expanded offering, Carrier Transicold Dealers now enables access to more operator manuals for current and legacy Carrier Transicold truck and trailer refrigeration systems, heating systems and auxiliary power units (APUs). As before, the app includes a convenient alarm code list for the Carrier Transicold APX control system, providing descriptions of potential problems and corrective steps for different warnings.

The “Nearby Dealers” function finds the closest dealer to the user’s location, including a map, address, contact details and hours of operation. Depending on device and connection, the app can auto-dial the dealership and can help provide navigation to the dealership. Where applicable, quick links are provided to connect to individual dealer websites or to share dealership details via an emailed link to content within Carrier Transicold’s online dealer locator at https://locator.ttdealers.carrier.com/

Most of the app’s resources require a cell or wi-fi connection, however the dealer lookup menu is available offline – users can always find dealers by selecting a country, plus state or province if applicable, from alphabetical listings.

Carrier Transicold Dealers works on smartphones and tablets using Google’s Android and Apple Inc.’s iOS operating systems. The latest version (3.0) can be downloaded through Google Play or the Apple App Store.

For more information, visit www.transicold.carrier.com. Follow Carrier on Twitter: @SmartColdChain.

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