Chen Mo, the co-founder and former executive chairman of Chinese automated driving technology company TuSimple, announced on Friday that he has established Hydron, a new company providing L4 autonomous driving and hydrogenation infrastructure services, headquartered in Ontario, California.
Hydron focuses on the R&D, design, manufacturing and marketing of hydrogen-fueled heavy-duty trucks with L4 autonomous driving capability and a hydrogen refueling infrastructure provider. Its goal is to create a new era of low-carbon and intelligence in the freight industry.
The firm’s first manufacturing facility will be built in North America, and Hydron’s truck products will be sold directly to autonomous driving companies and large logistics customers. Target markets include North America, Europe and the Middle East, enabling local production of vehicles in North America.
Rather than producing hydrogen itself, Hydron is currently partnering with suppliers. Hydron plans to provide hydrogen refueling infrastructure services to customers, and the company’s trucks can be fueled with either green or blue hydrogen.
Designed specifically for L4 autonomous driving systems, Hydron trucks are set with a full suite of sensors, computing units and redundant actuators. The first generation of trucks is designed to be fully driverless in the vehicle within the ODD design operating range. However, performance details and pricing for the first-generation truck, the Hydron One, have not yet been made public.
In the future, HYDRON will maintain close cooperation with many top-tier suppliers across the world and other automated driving companies, in addition to TuSimple. Its first generation products are expected to be delivered in Q3 2024, and the mass-produced vehicles will feature a complete set of sensors, computing units and redundant actuators, realizing L4 automated driving.
In 2015, Chen Mo and Hou Xiaodi jointly founded TuSimple, and the company quickly grew into a global leading enterprise in the field of automated driving. In 2019, TuSimple received investment from global logistics giant UPS. In April 2021, TuSimple was listed on the NASDAQ, raising more than $1.3 billion, making it the first listed automated driving company in the world. In the future, Chen Mo, as CEO of Hydron, will fully devote himself to the management and operation of this new venture.
Chen Mo has said that the large-scale commercialization of autonomous driving technology requires strong hardware and software integration capabilities. He founded Hydron because he realized that the biggest challenge in the autonomous driving industry was not software development, but whether the hardware could be delivered reliably and on time for mass production.