TuSimple develops camera system with night driving capabilities, offers self-driving trucks day and night operations

TuSimple has developed an automotive-grade camera and vision system that offers enhanced reliability of autonomous operation.

The leading self-driving truck company uses Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation’s advanced automotive CMOS image sensor system to provide reliable night and low light autonomous operation.

“Bringing reliable nighttime and low light operation to current perception systems in the market is an important step in the viability of autonomous driving, which is a strategic focus for us,” Tsutomu Haruta, Automotive Business Division Deputy SGM, Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation said.

“We’ve all driven at night, it is harder to drive at night than during the day and this camera solves that problem,” Robert Brown, TuSimple director of public affairs, said. “[We’re] utilizing the [Sony system] to make [the cameras] universally used between day and night.”

Brown added that for the company to see a return on their autonomous investment, the trucks need to be able to work longer than human “hours of service constraints,” typically equivalent to 11 hours.  

According to TuSimple, adding nighttime operations will increase truck utilization from a 50 percent average – or 12 hours a day – to an 80 percent average.

Thanks to the new cameras – which can “detect and process sharp images in real-time as far as 1,000 meters away – TuSimple will be able to increase its United States fleet to 50 trucks by June.

The camera system has been validated as highly reliable in specific driving conditions and will continue being tested for further development.

Currently, TuSimple’s truck vision range of 1,000 is farther and better-quality visibility than any other autonomous perception systems today.

Once you don’t have the human component you can get a lot more efficient from a trucking perspective,” Brown said. “We were super excited about itbeing able to operate day and night is, from our customer’s perspective, what they need from us. What is nice about autonomous trucks is they aren’t constrained by our human needs and wants. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

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Emily Richardson

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