Aeva Inc, a former Apple Inc engineers’ startup which supplies a key self-driving car sensor, told Reuters that it has partnered with TuSimple to deliver the sensors for self-driving heavy-duty trucks developed by the company.
Aeva builds a lidar unit that aids vehicles with a three-dimensional view of the road and is in the process of becoming a public trade company through a merger with InterPrivate Acquisition Corp.
Aeva’s deal with TuSimple represents the company’s first move into the world of self-driving trucks.
TuSimple is a company based in San Diego which has minority-stake backing from Volkswagen’s commercial trucking unit Traton SE to develop self-driving trucks. United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) also has a minority stake in the startup, which is developing self-driving trucks with Navistart International Corp slated to start production in 2024.
Aeva has been testing its sensor with TuSimple since 2019. Aeva’s lidar technology allows it to detect the velocity of distant objects, which in turn helps the vehicle more quickly determine whether that object is, for example, a pedestrian or a tree.
In an interview with Reuters, Aeva Chief Executive Officer Soroush Salehian said, “That capability is helpful in ‘providing additional safe stopping distance, which has always been a challenge for heavy-duty trucks.”
Aeva has recently announced deals with tier-one automotive suppliers ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Denso Corp to supply sensors to automakers for passenger vehicles.
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