TuSimple, an autonomous commercial vehicle technology company based in China, dedicated a new facility in Tucson today. TuSimple has leased 6,865 square feet of warehouse/office space at 2551 N. Dragoon Street, Suite 131 to engineer and test its Autonomous Trucking technology. The company also has research facilities in Beijing, China and San Diego, California.
“TuSimple’s new office in Tucson has two missions: to develop the world’s first autonomous truck fleet in Tucson, and to accelerate local economic growth with the adaptation of autonomous driving,” stated Xiaodi Hou, chief technology officer and co-founder of TuSimple. “These ambitious missions would not be possible without the kind support from the State of Arizona, Pima County and City of Tucson, as well as local companies such as Sun Corridor Inc. and Tucson Electric Power.”
TuSimple projects to hire 100 people within a five-year time period. The majority of those hired will be advanced engineering positions, in addition to truck drivers and operators. The company has already started the hiring process working with University of Arizona Career Services to post positions on job boards. TuSimple also projects to invest $15 million in capital expenditures bringing its economic impact to $81.7 million over five years.
TuSimple is one of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Research Center corporate internship partners, and attracts graduates from top universities around the world. Those interested in employment opportunities with TuSimple can apply/learn more at its website, www.tusimple.ai.
Arizona is one of a handful of states that has adopted legislation or signed executive orders supporting the testing and development for the autonomous vehicle industry. Arizona created the Self-Driving Vehicle Oversight Committee through executive order and its members meet with the Arizona Department of Transportation to support autonomous vehicle research and development efforts.
The ribbon cutting event was held at TuSimple’s office with CTO and co-founder Xiaodi Hou, and his team, along with Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson, Joe Snell, president & CEO, Sun Corridor Inc. and Dave Hutchens, president & CEO of UNS Energy Corp., Tucson Electric Power & Unisource Energy Services.
“I’m very pleased to welcome TuSimple to Tucson,” said Mayor Rothschild. “I’m happy the city was able to help facilitate connections with the University of Arizona. Our workforce, specifically our engineering workforce, weighed in our favor in their decision to come here and, in fact, is one of our underreported strengths as a community.”
“Congratulations to TuSimple on its announcement today. High-wage technology, engineering and manufacturing jobs like these are a top focus of Pima County’s economic development efforts and the steady pace of these announcements over the past year shows our economy is growing. Well done to all involved,” said Sharon Bronson, chair of the Pima County Board of Supervisors.
TuSimple embarked on a competitive process looking for the optimal space and location that would fulfill its workforce and logistical needs. Under Sun Corridor Inc.’s management, local and state officials provided TuSimple executives with workforce, real estate, incentive and demographic information to demonstrate the region’s ability to support the expansion.
“We were tenacious in our efforts to win this 21st Century, high-tech company,” stated Joe Snell, president & CEO of Sun Corridor Inc. “Our proximity to its research facility in California, our top notch workforce and strong infrastructure for autonomous technology all contributed to push Tucson to the top.”
The Arizona Commerce Authority, the University of Arizona, Tucson Electric Power, Alpha Commercial Real Estate Service, and CBRE were valuable partners in the selection process.
“Tucson Electric Power and Sun Corridor have a shared focus to create an ecosystem that nurtures new and innovative technologies and provides good jobs in our community,” stated Dave Hutchens, president & CEO of UNS Energy Corp., TEP & Unisource Energy Services and chairman of Sun Corridor Inc. “TuSimple’s entrance into our market helps accomplish that goal with the added benefit of bringing foreign investment into our region.”
“The news that TuSimple is investing in Tucson is a strong reminder of the strength of Southern Arizona’s workforce and the research and innovation ecosystem the UA has helped to create,” stated Dr. Robert C. Robbins, president of the University of Arizona. “This is an incredible opportunity for Tucson and Arizona to continue taking a leadership role in the emerging autonomous vehicle industry, particularly with the UA Transportation Research Institute and UA Career Services making sure talented UA students and graduates have exceptional career opportunities in the field.”