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 behaviors – though always with a human driver watching behind the wheel.
This is an important step forward on the road to fully autonomous driving, but there’s still a lot of work to be done, according to co-founder Xiaodi Hou.
“This permit doesn’t represent a technological innovation or milestone,” said 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,” said 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.”
TuSimple also is the first company on the list to be based in San Diego. The company has scheduled a 420-mile test run from San Diego to Tucson, Arizona, at the end of June, in which they plan to test out a fully autonomous L4 system.