TuSimple and Navistar Voice of Customer Program

By TuSimple's editorial team
Aug 19


Customer Feedback from Industry Leaders Played Pivotal Role in Developing the Industry’s First Autonomous Truck Production

In an evolving autonomous landscape where many companies have yet to move beyond a retrofitted solution, we at TuSimple believe we are leading the industry by working closely with Navistar to co-develop the industry’s first purpose-built Level 4 autonomous truck for production in 2024. Our production program is going through Navistar’s rigorous new vehicle launch testing and validation processes. Once completed, TuSimple should be well-positioned to deliver our certified, fully-warrantied semi-trucks that our fleet customers demand.

We have reached out to our “first wave” reservation customers, which are all sophisticated and well-known logistics companies, to actively engage them in discussions around truck specifications and integrating autonomous operations into their fleets. The “Voice of Customer” (VOC) program seeks to identify and address key customer concerns early in the development process. This innovation framework is used to understand our customer challenges and design in solutions to address those needs. Involving reservation customers early and often as the development program progresses facilitates novel solutions and product improvements.

What is the TuSimple and Navistar Voice of Customer Program?

Our Voice of Customer (VOC) Program provides insights into customer-driven product requirements as well as educates our customers on our development plans and how we intend to bring it to market. We plan to utilize customer feedback to improve our product and create a better product experience.

Early on, we identified a limited group of key innovators and early adopters in the trucking and logistics industry and reached out to them as development partners in advance of our anticipated 2024 production launch. These partners have, in turn, placed an aggregate of 6,775 truck reservations as a sign of their commitment towards adopting TuSimple autonomous driving technology.

The VOC Program enables us to educate our customers on the industry as well as our progress in developing a purpose-built Level 4 autonomous truck, which serves as a critical touchpoint with customers in proving the maturity of our process and allows us to bring customers “under the tent” and involve them in the initial phases of the technical specification process. As a result, this effort builds upon the deep relationships we have developed with our partners over the years. Being at the forefront of new technology, we believe it is essential to de-risk adoption uncertainties through transparency and communication with our cornerstone customers and partners. We intend for this to continue to be an ongoing conversation. We are driving transformation in our industry, and the partners in our ecosystem are integral to our success.

The Road to Autonomy

The VOC effort is part of an ongoing conversation that TuSimple and Navistar have been developing with customers to build TuSimple’s Autonomous Freight Network (AFN) in the North American market. Early on, we identified that making our customers and partners a part of our execution was critical to ensuring the benefits of autonomy are truly attainable to those operating in this industry. While proving the technology is an essential step towards success, realizing Level 4 autonomy within existing customer operations will require a keen and acute understanding of specific customer needs and truck specifications.

Considering these needs, we are continuing to work with Navistar to make strides in our joint production program towards the first automotive-grade autonomous truck built at scale.

The Path Forward

To date, we have completed technical specification reviews with customers in all of our key target segments, and we plan to further engage in these important learning sessions as we continue to define our BOM into early 2022. Customer feedback has given us first-hand insight into our customers’ preferences, adoption timelines and requirements in their operational change management process. While it is a substantial achievement to launch an Level 4 autonomous truck, product-market fit is vital to its success. By including these critical elements into the autonomous truck and AFN design, we can move forward with refining our autonomous truck specifications and design. In addition to truck design, these elements also impact core infrastructure within the AFN designed to ensure complete end-to-end autonomous integration and a smoother transition period for our early reservation customers.

To our knowledge, we are the first autonomous driving technology company to review production level specifications with fleet customers. This process is significant because it reinforces our unique position at the forefront of autonomous driving technology and the continued pace of setting industry standards, similar to our introduction of the TuSimple AFN last year.

Posted by TuSimple

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