Autonomous Semi provides fruit cross-country faster than humans

Many years, if not decades, of self-propelled vehicles have become mainstream reality. Semi-autonomous driving systems are good, but there is still a wide gap between today’s technology and our promised autonomous future. However, there is an industry where the technology could be introduced – tracking. TuSimple is designing self-driving technology for half-trucks, and last month the company completed cross-country welding of watermelons with minimal human input.

The journey takes 14 hours and 6 minutes from the Mexico-Arizona border town of Nogales to Oklahoma City. According to TuSimple, this is 42-percent faster than a human driver who has to stop for 10 hours of rest after 11 hours of driving due to safety rules. TuSimple has achieved such a fast delivery time because it does not need to follow the same rules as a man-powered truck.

The truck has completed more than 80 percent of the 951-mile journey on its own, with one human driver driving the truck for the final 200 miles from Nogales to Tucson and again from Dallas to Oklahoma City. This quick delivery time can be a huge advantage for the product, which arrives at its destination on the day it leaves Nogales, instead it arrives the next day by a man. This will mean fresh fruit for consumers and less waste for grocers and farmers.

While this technology could significantly improve efficiency, it will probably come at a cost to the job, although such transformations are still a few years away in the future. Self-driving trucks will need people for the time being to work as a safety and last mile driver; However, the company plans to start driving trucks without safety drivers by 2025. TuSimple already operates seven routes between Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso and Dallas, with plans to add routes to Houston and San Antonio, according to SingularityHub.com.

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