TuSimple

TuSimple uses the Peterbilt 579 for testing. It’s expected to start hauling loads on I-10 in the next few months.

TuSimple, a Chinese company that is developing self-driving commercial trucks in Tucson, is adding 500 jobs over the next two years here.

The company, which has dual headquarters in Beijing and San Diego, has been testing autonomous trucks out of a facility on Tucson’s southeast side for over a year and recently began generating revenue hauling freight for commercial carriers in Arizona.

Each vehicle is manned by one driver plus an engineer, who monitors the system as well as the driver.

The expansion announcement, attended by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, was made Wednesday.

The new jobs will span a variety of fields ranging from engineering and autonomous truck driving to office management.  

TuSimple will also increase its autonomous fleet to 200 trucks in the U.S. by 2019. 

Earlier this year, TuSimple expanded its testing facilities at 9538 E. Old Vail Road from 6,800 to 50,000 square feet, and in 2019 the company plans to further expand their footprint.

The expansion has a projected total economic impact of $1.1 billion over the next five years.

“Arizona has actively supported the research and development of autonomous vehicles, and we are pleased to be expanding our footprint in the state,” said Xiaodi Hou, CTO and Co-Founder of TuSimple.

“In Arizona, we're committed to encouraging new technologies,” Ducey said. “TuSimple's original expansion into our state, and this announcement to expand even more are testament to the environment we've created here, one that is business-friendly, where innovators do what they do best: innovate.”

Senior reporter covering business and technology for the Arizona Daily Star/Tucson.com