Testing of its self-driving truck technology has been initiated by TuSimple in Japan.

TuSimple, a company that focuses on developing self-driving trucks and has subsidiaries in China, Hong Kong, and Japan, announced on Tuesday that it has begun testing its autonomous vehicles on Japan’s Tomei Expressway. The move comes after the company shared plans to divest its China-based business due to regulatory scrutiny in the US, while later backpedaling by planning to continue operations in the region. The Japanese government amended a law in 2022 to permit Level 4 autonomous vehicles to operate on public roads, introducing a lane on certain parts of New Tomei Expressway by 2024 and allowing commercial operation of L4 autonomous trucks in 2026. TuSimple’s regular testing runs on the Tomei Expressway began in January 2023 and mark the company’s entrance into Japan. Self-driving technology represents an attractive solution to the driver shortage issue in Japan’s logistics industry, according to TuSimple’s President and CEO Cheng Lu. Despite TuSimple’s recent layoffs and delisting from Nasdaq, the company aims to pursue additional business partnerships with local companies and develop the necessary technology to meet local customer demand.

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