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Caofeidian, a district of the city of Tangshan, is best known as a bulker port and the home of an abandoned eco-city project. It is also home to a 300,000 TEU container terminal — not a giant facility, like Yangshan or Tianjin, but large enough that TuSimple can test its technology in a realistic environment.
Many other terminals — for example, TraPac at the Port of LA, Maasvlakte 2 in Rotterdam and Yangshan Phase 4 in Shanghai — already uses robotic trucks to carry containers within the bounds of the facility site. In addition, Singapore is already trialing semi-autonomous truck "platooning," with one human-operated vehicle ahead and several self-driving trucks following closely behind. However, Caofeidian may be the first port to test fully self-driving, over-the-road truck systems.
TuSimple, which has offices in both China and the United States, is developing self-driving equipment and software that can be fitted onto other manufacturers' tractor-trailer trucks, and it is focused on level 4 autonomy during highway driving. This means that the self-driving system handles most "dynamic driving tasks" independently once it is on a controlled-access freeway, with the exception of extreme weather conditions and other unusual circumstances.
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