TuSimple co-founder starts hydrogen truck company

By Mike Brezonick13 June 2022

Mo Chen, co-founder of San Diego, Calif.-based autonomous driving company TuSimple, has started a new company, Hydron, committed to developing, manufacturing, and selling hydrogen-powered trucks equipped with L4 autonomous driving technology.

Hydron trucks Hydron is a new Southern California company focused on the development, manufacturing and sales of purpose-built autonomous ready trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells. (Photo: Hydron)

Chen said he is set on transforming long-haul freight transportation through hydrogen-powered autonomous trucks making trucking safer, cleaner, and more efficient, minimizing the carbon footprint of Class 8 heavy-duty trucks globally.

The Canadian entrepreneur co-founded self-driving technology company TuSimple with business partner Xiaodi Hou in 2015. Tusimple attracted the attention of global logistics giant UPS, who invested in the company in 2019 before TuSimple went public through a traditional IPO raising $1.3 billion in total funding.

In December of 2021, TuSimple said it became the first and only company to successfully operate long-haul heavy-duty trucks autonomously on open public roads without a human in the vehicle and without remote intervention.

“The path to commercializing autonomous vehicles requires the complex integration of both hardware and software,” said Chen, chief executive officer of Hydron. “The biggest challenge in bringing autonomous driving to the market at scale is not software development, but access to reliable mass production hardware, and now with Hydron, we will be able to provide automotive-grade hardware specifically for autonomous networks.”

Hydron plans to become a leading provider of hydrogen-powered autonomous trucks and refueling infrastructure through partnerships to become a complete solution provider for autonomous driving companies, commercial fleets, and leading carriers. Hydron also plans to collaborate with partners to build a manufacturing facility in North America to better meet the U.S. supply chain challenges.

The first generation of Hydron trucks is expected to enter mass production in the third quarter of 2024, with a complete set of sensors, computing units, and redundant actuators to meet L4 autonomous driving requirements.

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