Chinese autonomous truck manufacturers proliferate

Chinese autonomous truck manufacturers proliferate

TuSimple, a Chinese self-driving truck start-up backed by graphic chip manufacturer Nvidia, is in talks with 10 ports in China to deliver its autonomous trucks, according to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post.

“Autonomous logistics solutions will be more cost efficient for ports,” Hao Jiannan, co-founder of the Beijing and San Diego-based firm said at a launch event in Beijing earlier this week. “It represents the trend to follow in the future.”

TuSimple is one of more than 20 Chinese autonomous truck start-ups that have launched since 2016. TABU, founded by the former R&D head of ride hailing firm Didi Chuxing, is another Chinese firm competing with US tech giants like Uber, Google’s Waymo and Tesla’s Semi, as the market for autonomous trucks heats up.

A number of ports around the world, such as giants Singapore and Rotterdam, are already using autonomous trucks in their container opertations.

Meanwhile, NIO Capital, a private equity fund founded by Chinese electric car start-up NIO, said earlier this week it plans to develop autonomous electric trucks with the country’s internet of things firm G7 and logistics provider GLP.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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