Ryder System is partnering with a California autonomous driving technology company to boost its national fleet of driverless trucks.

The Miami logistics giant (Nasdaq: R) will adapt its southern U.S. maintenance facilities to serve as terminals for San Diego-based TuSimple’s (Nasdaq: TSP) autonomous freight network, the companies announced Thursday. The terminals are secure facilities that act as the start and end points for autonomous vehicle deployments.

The move will make it easier for TuSimple to quickly scale its network of terminals without building new locations from scratch. Ryder will collaborate with TuSimple to identify appropriate facilities for the autonomous freight network, which must be available to heavy duty trucks and trailers 24 hours a day.

“The trucking industry is on the verge of a massive disruption, and we’re seeing strong demand for access to reliable autonomous capacity from shippers, carriers, and fleets,” said TuSimple president and CEO Cheng Lu. “The partnership with Ryder will enable us [to] continue to meet these needs and set the pace for industry adoption.”

TuSimple operates a fleet of approximately 50 autonomous trucks that transport freight across Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. It aims to expand operations to the East Coast this year with a route between Phoenix, Arizona and Orlando.

Ryder has a nationwide network of more than 500 maintenance facilities across the country, offering plenty of room for TuSimple terminals as the business grows.

Karen Jones, CMO and head of new product innovation at Ryder, said the TuSimple partnership will position the company as an industry leader in autonomous truck servicing.

“Ryder is focused on how to best leverage our vast location footprint, maintenance operations, and visibility tools to lead in the future world of autonomy,” she said.

Ryder is committed to staying on the cutting edge of logistics and transportation innovation. To do that, it recently formed Ryder Ventures, a corporate capital fund that plans to invest $50 million in logistics startups over the next five years. The firm has already backed Miami-based SmartHop, an artificial intelligence-powered platform for small trucking companies.

Ryder is one of South Florida’s largest public companies, with $8.42 billion in revenue and 39,000 full-time employees worldwide in 2020

source: https://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/inno/stories/news/2021/07/29/ryder-partnership-expand-autonomous-trucking.html

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