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TuSimple says its self-driving trucks shaved 10 hours off a 24-hour run

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TSPTuSimple self-driving truckSource: TuSimple

Autonomous vehicle company TuSimple on Wednesday claimed that its trucks shaved 10 hours off what’s normally a 24-hour job.

The company tested its trucks by hauling fresh watermelons along a 951-mile route from Nogales, Arizona to Oklahoma City. The drive was part of a pilot project with TuSimple partners Giumarra, a produce grower and distributor, and the Associated Wholesale Grocers.

The run normally takes 24 hours and 6 minutes with human drivers and traditional trucks, but TuSimple’s automated driving systems enabled a 42% faster run of 14 hours and six minutes, the company said.

According to TuSimple, a human driver worked on the pick-up and delivery of the produce. But during the long middle segment of the drive — from Tucson, Arizona, to Dallas, Texas — TuSimple’s vehicle drove itself with a human safety driver on board.

A spokesperson for TuSimple told CNBC the pilot was done with a safety driver on-board partly to comply with a patchwork of local regulations in the U.S. TuSimple aims to operate its trucks without needing a safety driver on-board at all by the end of 2024. Its trucks can be driven manually if and when needed.

Today, federal regulation does not limit the use of automated driving systems