Tucson-based autonomous semi-truck firm will create 500 jobs

Governor Ducey announced in Tucson on Wednesday that Tucson-based autonomous semi-truck firm TuSimple will create 500 jobs over the next two years in engineering, truck driving, and office management.

TuSimple started in 2015 with headquarters in San Diego, CA and Beijing, China. Last August, the company decided to open a testing facility in Tucson. The company is set to expand its fleet of autonomous trucks to 500 by 2019, which will make it the world’s largest autonomous truck fleet.

The introduction of the Tucson facility created 100 jobs, and now the company is looking to expand to 600 jobs total by 2020. TuSimple will also double the size of the facility by 2019. According to the Arizona Commerce Authority, the expansion will have a projected $1.1 billion economic impact over the next five years

Governor Ducey expressed his excitement, “TuSimple is one of many companies like AXISCADES, Hexagon Mining, Caterpillar, Comcast, and Geico that are leading southern Tucson to success. They could’ve chosen any location to invest, but they chose Tucson.”

TuSimple Vice President Chuck Price explained the company’s decision to choose Arizona over other states for their facility construction and expansion. He explained that Arizona’s “regulatory climate is correct,” which allows them to test their technology more efficiently and bring their products to fruition rapidly.

Moreover, even with their regulatory latitude, Price emphasized that the company is focused primarily on safety. He notes that safety is the company’s “north star” and guides all of their decision-making. Indeed, a professional driver and co-pilot engineer operate all cars during testing.

However, the appeal of Arizona stretches past its advanced regulatory atmosphere. Price continues, “We also are impressed with the talent that is available here. We have a strong partnership with the University of Arizona, and we also have a very strong partnership with Pima Community College — both of which are tremendous resources for us as we move forward.”

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild addressed the importance of this expansion for the city’s reputation. He noted that this expansion is one of many others that solidifies Tucson’s position as a major city for business. He added, “We appreciate the foreign direct investment this represents. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to better see the benefits of a region and make a clear-eyed idea of where to invest. We appreciate your confidence in Tucson.”

TuSimple represents another successful and innovative company that has chosen Tucson as its home. This mutually beneficial partnership will bring new economic development to the region while delivering new talent to the autonomous semi-truck firm.

Ben Norman

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