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Self-driving trucks in Tucson hitting road soon with first shipment

Posted at 12:07 PM, Apr 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 01:08:56-04

TuSimple is testing three self-driving trucks at its facility in Tucson.

TuSimple Vice President of Product Chuck Price says they first drive cars to map out the road and routes. Price says these cars are loaded with sensors, cameras, GPS, and radar. Then that information gathered will be programmed into the truck. 

The trucks are also programmed to adjust to the speed of the road, change lanes and drive on both freeways and city streets.

He says that if the driver makes any move to the steering wheel or touches the brake, they are able to take control of the truck. 

Price explained there are several safety features in place. 

"We have 10 cameras that are looking 360 degrees around the vehicle," he said. "We use that for object detection and avoidance and also localizing ourselves on the highway."

The truck can locate itself within four inches on the road and see more than 300 meters.

"Our design allows the vehicle to go off the highway, on surface streets, into the distribution center and then back up to the dock," he said. 

A safety driver and engineer are inside the truck to monitor the system when it's self-driving. 

By the end of the year the company plans to have a fleet of 25 trucks and hopes to haul their first commercial load.

The company has headquarters also in China and San Diego.