TuSimple becomes first stand-alone autonomous truck company to go public

Self-driving truck startup, TuSimple, has raised $USD1.35 billion in a public offering overnight.

The news comes after the San Diego-based company announced earlier in the week that it had launched a roadshow for its initial public offering.

Alongside an existing investor, TuSimple sold an estimated 33.8 million shares at $40 per share in a move viewed as a significant step in helping the company commercialise self-driving trucks and expand its autonomous freight network across the United States.

The company, which has operations in Tucson, Arizona and Shanghai and Beijing in China, wants to achieve SAE Level 4 automated driving across its operations, which would see the vehicle operate autonomously without human input or intervention given the right conditions.

An explosion in eCommerce combined and with a worldwide heavy vehicle operator shortage is fuelling investments in the embryonic driverless delivery segment.

Just this week IVECO signed a memorandum of understanding with autonomous trucking company Plus to jointly develop autonomous trucks.

Last week Volvo Group announced a long-term partnership with self-driving technology company Aurora.

Despite a loss of more than $USD300 million since 2018, TuSimple insists it will see a turnaround in fortunes once production on its self-driving trucks commences in 2024.

According to its IPO filing the company has customer reservations of over 5,700 trucks with the likes of Navistar International and Traton SE among them.

The IPO makes TuSimple the first go-it-alone autonomous truck developer to be publicly traded.

Later this year TuSimple has plans to run a truck without a human safety driver for more than 100 miles day and night as part of its proof of concept for its self-driving technology.

The Traton Group, the parent company of Scania and MAN trucks, acquired the remainder of Navistar International in November, 2020.

TuSimple have already entered into a global partnership to develop self-driving trucks with Traton.

The two companies have agreed to launch a development program to operate the first SAE level 4 autonomous hub-to-hub route between Södertälje to Jönköping in Sweden using Scania commercial vehicles.

“Our partnership with Traton Group accelerates the introduction of autonomous truck technology to new international markets, and we look forward to our global partnership,” said Cheng Lu, TuSimple President.

“The Traton Group has an excellent reputation and established a portfolio of world-class truck brands, their strategic investment in TuSimple is a powerful testimony to our technology and approach.”