June 16, 2017—TuSimple joins the ranks of GM, Google, Tesla, and Ford this week in acquiring a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test autonomous driving vehicles on the road.
TuSimple’s autonomous systems can now tackle real Southern California road conditions like potholes, traffic, and random human driving behavior.
Though this is an important step forward on the road to fully autonomous driving, there’s still a lot of work to be done, says co-founder Xiaodi Hou.
“This permit doesn’t represent a technological innovation or milestone,” says Hou. “If we think about applying for the permit as if it were a kind of test, its requirements are relatively easy to fulfill. But real ability in autonomous driving is a different thing altogether.”
Real progress always happens behind the scenes, says Hou, and TuSimple will continue to do what it’s always done—quietly write the algorithms, do the research, and test the equipment necessary to make autonomous driving a reality.
The company has scheduled a 420-mile test run from San Diego to Tucson, Ariz., at the end of June, in which they plan to test out a fully autonomous L4 system.