United Parcel Service (UPS) is jumping into the self-driving vehicle world by investing in self-driving truck startup TuSimple. The Atlanta-based shipping giant sees it as an opportunity to boost on-road safety and efficiency.
The investment and the testing comes as UPS looks for new ways to remain competitive, cut costs and boost its bottom line. TuSimple, which launched in 2015, says it can cut average transportation costs by 30%.
UPS initially turned to TuSimple to help it better understand how Level 4 autonomous trucking might function within its network. Starting in May, the two companies have been running tests to see if the service and efficiency in the UPS network could be improved by using self-driving tractor trailers transporting goods between Tucson and Phoenix,Arizona.
TuSimple also recently completed five round trips, transporting goods between Phoenix and Dallas distribution centers. A spokesperson for TuSimple said Friday that the collaboration would continue, without revealing details.
The new funds follow a $95 million D-round financing led by Sina announced in February that made TuSimple the first driverless trucking unicorn at a $1.1 billion valuation. However, neither company has disclosed the amount of the new investment.