Feb 2 (Reuters) - TuSimple Holdings Inc (TSP.O) on Wednesday said its autonomous trucks have completed more than 550 miles (885 km) of public road driving in Arizona without a human behind the wheel.
The company also said it planned to expand fully autonomous freight services to other large shipping areas, including Texas, by the end of 2023.
Most self-driving trucking companies continue to operate their trucks with safety drivers behind the wheel to take over when needed. TuSimple at the end of December began to run trucks driverlessly on an 80-mile stretch between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.
The company on Wednesday said it has since completed a total of seven fully autonomous runs on that route, adding that no humans were used to operate the truck remotely, or intervene in traffic.
TuSimple said it is the first company to operate fully driverless heavy-duty trucks.
Competitor Gatik has said it is operating smaller box trucks for grocery giant Walmart on a seven-mile stretch in Arkansas without a safety driver.
Other self-driving truck companies including Aurora Innovation Inc (AUR.O) and Embark Technology Inc (EMBK.O), continue to use safety drivers on the pilot runs they operate.
Autonomous vehicle startups and automakers are under pressure to start generating revenue from billions of dollars of engineering investment over the past decade.
TuSimple on Wednesday said railroad Union Pacific will become its first customer to move freight on the fully driverless trucks between Tucson and Arizona.
This article originally appeared on Reuters