Mar 23, 2021 - Economy

Self-driving truck company TuSimple files for IPO

Image of TuSimple semi-truck driving fast under a highway overpass

Navistar truck, operated by TuSimple. Photo: TuSimple

TuSimple, a leader in autonomous truck technology, filed for an initial public stock offering Tuesday, skipping the SPAC route that's been popular lately with automotive tech startups.

Why it matters: Driverless semi-trucks could make highways safer while reducing the cost and environmental impact associated with increased demand for freight delivery.

The big picture: The U.S.-Chinese company aims to capture a slice of a U.S. commercial trucking market valued at $800 billion. Competitors include Alphabet's Waymo and startups Aurora, Embark Trucks, Kodiak and Plus.

  • Investors include Sun Dream, an affiliate of Chinese tech company Sina Corp., as well as major trucking and logistics companies such as UPS, Navistar, and Volkswagen's Traton Group.
  • The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the potential offering hasn’t benn determined yet, the company said.

Driving the news: TuSimple is developing fully automated trucks with both Traton and Navistar that will go into production starting in 2024.

  • Fleet operators can either purchase those trucks and pay a per-mile subscription for TuSimple's autonomous technology, or book freight capacity on TuSimple's own fleet of self-driving trucks.
  • The company says it has 5,700 truck orders so far, and 22 contracted customers for its in-house freight service.

Editor's note: In the list of TuSimple's competitors, Plus was formerly

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