TuSimple Starts Level 4 Autonomous Truck Testing in Japan
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TuSimple Holdings has begun Level 4 autonomous test runs on a major freight corridor in Japan, the autonomous driving technology company announced June 6.
The Tomei Expressway is a main highway for freight moves in the country as it connects Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.
TuSimple Japan commenced regular testing on the corridor in January 2023. This came after the subsidiary completed a series of safety validation and testing work in 2021.
“Self-driving technology is a promising solution to the driver shortage issue that Japan’s logistics industry faces,” TuSimple CEO Cheng Lu said. “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 longhaul transportation industry.”
Vehicles with autonomous capabilities typically are organized in class levels between 1 and 5.
Level 1 is the lowest class of automation and is defined by including a single automated system for driver assistance, such as steering or cruise control. Level 4 does not require human interaction in most circumstances. But a driver still has the option to manually override.
The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications reported in 2022 that 45.2% of the truck drivers in the country were age 50 or older. The Japanese government has reportedly been planning to launch a self-driving lane on some sections of the Tomei Expressway by 2024 and will allow commercial operation of Level 4 autonomous trucks in 2026.
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