Autonomous Truck Startups TuSimple and Ike Raise More Investments

Self-Driving Truck Startups TuSimple, Ike Attract More Investment to Fuel Development

Business Technology Equipment Fuel Autonomous TiSimple displayed one of its self-driving trucks outside Las Vegas Convention Center during the CES technology show in January. (Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics) Self-driving truck startups TuSimple and Ike announced new funding in February to fuel the continued development of their automated driving systems for commercial vehicles.

TuSimple said it raised $95 million in its Series D round of funding, bringing its total funding to $178 million. The company also claimed a valuation of $1 billion — a milestone often referred to as “unicorn” status in startup parlance.

TuSimple, dually headquartered in Beijing and San Diego, currently operates a test fleet of self-driving trucks that conducts daily freight runs in Arizona and will soon expand into Texas, the company said.

Ike, meanwhile, announced $52 million in Series A funding from Bain Capital Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Fontinalis Partners, Basis Set Ventures and Neo.

The San Francisco-based company, which emerged from stealth mode in October, was founded by former leaders of the self-driving truck program at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group. Uber halted its development work on automated trucks in mid-2018, choosing instead to focus its efforts on passenger cars. A worker checks a sensor mounted onto a test truck operated by Ike, which is developing automated driving technology for commercial vehicles.(Ike)

Other firms testing or developing automated driving technology for commercial trucks include Embark, Starsky Robotics, Waymo, PlusAI and Pronto.

TuSumple’s Series D round, completed in December, was led by Sina Corp., the developer of Chinese social media platform Weibo. Composite Capital, a Hong Kong-based investment firm, also participated.

TuSimple said it will use the new funds to prepare its self-driving system for commercialization.“Autonomous driving is one of the most complex AI systems humans have ever built. After three years of intense focus to reach our technical goals, we have moved beyond research […]

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