TuSimple has begun testing trucks operating with Level 4 autonomous technology on Japan’s most significant freight corridor connecting Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.
Japan’s freight industry currently faces challenges with driver shortages and an ageing population.
Indeed, in 2022, the country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications reported that 45.2% of the drivers in the country’s transportation industry were aged 50 or older.
To help combat this dilemma, the Japanese government is expected to launch a self-driving lane on some sections of the Tomei Expressway by 2024 and will allow commercial operation of SAE Level 4 trucks in 2026.
In line with this roadmap, TuSimple completed a series of safety validation and testing of its autonomous driving system with a local Japanese truck in 2021.
Following the success of these tests, it has now commenced regular testing on the Tomei Expressway.
“Self-driving technology is a promising solution to the driver shortage issue that Japan's logistics industry faces. We aim to actively build business partnerships with local companies and develop the technology that will meet local customer demand. We are dedicated to providing the most reliable, safe and efficient autonomous truck solutions for the long-haul transportation industry.”
In addition to this project in Japan, in December 2021, TuSimple completed the world’s first fully autonomous semi-truck run on public roads in Arizona, USA without human intervention.
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