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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 Plus.ai.

Go deeper

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.

CBC members nix border visit

A Haitian migrant carries a toddler on his shoulders today as he crosses the Rio Grande River. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images

Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus weighed visiting the U.S.-Mexico border this week to investigate the conditions faced by Haitian migrants and protest allegations of inhumane treatment by U.S. agents.

Why it matters: It's a thorny proposition both in terms of timing and messaging. Going assures a new wave of negative headlines for President Biden amid sinking popularity. And with congressional deadlines in the coming days over infrastructure, a possible government shutdown and debt-limit crisis, Democrats can't afford to lose any votes in the House.

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