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Development Giant Hillwood Prepping 1M SF Facility For Autonomous Trucking Operations


Industrial real estate giant Hillwood Development Co. has tapped autonomous driving tech company TuSimple to integrate its infrastructure specifications into Hillwood's current and future properties in preparation for the use of autonomous trucks.

The first such Hillwood property will be a 1M SF facility within the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone, which is near Interstate 35 in the northern Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

The zone is part of the larger AllianceTexas master-planned industrial and mixed-use development. It provides partner companies access to testing and commercialization facilities to further the adoption of autonomous trucking operations.

The new facility will be designed to meet TuSimple's operational and technical requirements and will be compatible with the future expansion of the TuSimple Autonomous Freight Network, according to TuSimple. This facility is intended to serve as an origin and destination facility for autonomous trucks using TuSimple's autonomous driving system.

"We partnered with TuSimple ... to provide the guidance and technical parameters required to prepare this new facility for the rapid adoption and expansion of autonomous trucking operations throughout the region and beyond," Hillwood Chairman Ross Perot Jr. said in a statement. "The on-demand economy is driving a technological transformation within the logistics industry."

San Diego-based TuSimple said last month that it completed what it calls the first fully autonomous semitrailer ride on open public roads without a human in the vehicle.

The drive was on Dec. 22, according to TuSimple, when a truck rigged with the company’s autonomous tech traveled over 80 miles on surface streets and highways from Tucson, Arizona, to a distribution center in the Phoenix metro area.