Self-Driving Startup TuSimple Teams With Hillwood On Tech Truck Hub at AllianceTexas

TuSimple's expansion in the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone will allow the driverless tech trucker to connect its cross-country freight corridor and add new autonomous operations within the “Texas Triangle.”

Update: On January 17, 2024, TuSimple announced it would delist from Nasdaq as part of its process of exiting from the U.S. market.  

Driverless tech startup TuSimple has teamed up with Hillwood on a new trucking hub to support the company’s continued expansion into Texas. The San Diego-based company has secured property in AllianceTexas’ Mobility Innovation Zone, Hillwood announced today in a news release.

The Mobility Innovation Zone, or “MIZ,” located at AllianceTexas in north Fort Worth, was launched last year by real estate company Hillwood in collaboration with Deloitte. Intended to lead the country in smart infrastructure deployment, the MIZ is a digital and physical commercialization environment for partner companies. Hillwood calls it a “first-of-its-kind ‘Do Tank'” designed to actively commercialize the newest technologies in mobility. The innovation zone functions as a testing ecosystem, complete with essential resources and partnerships to foster and scale new ideas.

TuSimple, which was founded in 2015, has developed industry-leading autonomous technology for semi-trucks and aims to revolutionize the estimated $4 trillion global freight market, according to a news release.

[Screenshot: TuSimple video]

Hillwood will develop a new truck terminal to support the TuSimple’s continued expansion into Texas and connects into tech trucker’s cross country autonomous freight corridor, according to a news release. The hub’s location in the MIZ also will allow TuSimple to increase autonomous trucking operations in the “Texas Triangle,” supporting freight movements between Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston.

TuSimple, which currently ships freight using autonomous trucks from Arizona to Texas, said it will add new shipping lanes in 2021.

“We’re pleased to welcome TuSimple to Texas, adding the company to our nation-leading roster of firms engaged in the implementation of next-generation mobility platforms,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement. “The AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone provides the perfect infrastructure, landscape, and scale for the company to launch its national expansion and ‘Texas Triangle’ operations.”

[Screenshot: TuSimple video]

Construction on the TuSimple trucking hub at AllianceTexas is slated to begin in November 2020, with expected completion by March 2021, the companies said in a release. Designed to house autonomous truck operations, service, and administrative support, the new facility also will include office space as well as tech service bays for the fleet.

Ross Perot, Jr., chairman of Hillwood, calls TuSimple “the perfect partner” for Hillwood as the real estate company accelerates innovative mobility technologies within the MIZ.

“As the industry leader in the deployment of autonomous long-haul truck routes, TuSimple brings this technology to AllianceTexas today, ensuring the MIZ will be a global focal point in the commercialization of next-generation logistics solutions,” he said in a statement.

The TuSimple site in the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone in north Fort Worth.

The TuSimple site in the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone in north Fort Worth.

With the deal, TuSimple becomes the first autonomous trucking company to put down roots in the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone, and the new operational facility will be its first urban logistics center in Texas, it said in the release. The San Diego-based company’s existing Texas site is dedicated to supporting UPS.

The self-driving startup joins companies like Bell, BNSF, and Deloitte in supporting the MIZ mission to create the “world’s premier, commercially-driven platform to test, scale and commercialize technologies and solutions related to the movement of goods and people,” according to the news release.

“TuSimple is building the world’s first autonomous freight network and an important part of our strategy is to secure suitable locations for our terminals, and the Mobility Innovation Zone is exactly what we were looking for,” Lee White, vice President of Strategy of TuSimple said in a statement.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said the TuSimple move to AllianceTexas reinforces Fort Worth’s role as a “global destination for companies engaged in mobility innovation.” The company’s deal with Hillwood also highlight’s Fort Worth’s success in “creating a business environment where companies can grow and thrive in a collaborative partnership with the public sector,” she added in a statement.

Rasheq Zarif, a Future of Mobility Leader at Deloitte, sees AllianceTexas accelerating the commercial scale of automated trucking through its collaborative and business-driven approach to automated logistics technologies. The Deloitte Future of Mobility team serves an ecosystem of companies working in and around mobility.

“Automation technologies will transform how we plan, source, make, and deliver goods across the globe,” Zarif said in a statement. 

TuSimple, which will demonstrate driverless operations in 2021, wants to transform the $800 billion U.S. trucking industry through safety, efficiency, and reduced operating costs, it said in the release.

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