On April 15, self-driving truck company TuSimple raised USD 1.35 billion with its NASDAQ IPO, with company valuation hitting USD 8.5 billion at high point. Founded in 2015, TuSimple had received investments from big players including chip-maker Nvidia, truck and diesel engines manufacturer Navistar and Trato, the truck manufacturing subsidiary of Volkswagen Group. IPO prospectus revealed that the TuSimple has accumulated over 4.5 million road test kilometers, and employs 839 full-time staff worldwide, among which 80 percent are R&D headcount.
Surviving the consecutive falls of self-driving startups including Drive.ai and Roadstar.ai in 2019, TuSimple focused on commercializing autonomous trucks with feasible business models. The company partnered with Traton and Navistar to manufacture trucks empowered with self-driving technologies. It is currently operating 70 L4-level semi trucks, with anticipated revenue stream of USD 60,000 per year for each truck after scaled production, according to company CEO and co-founder Chen Mo.