business news in context, analysis with attitude

Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), fresh produce supplier The Giumarra Company, and autonomous driving technology companyTuSimple have announced a new logistics project in which the so-called "middle mile" was accomplished using self-driving technology.

According to the players, the technology actually cut 10 hours out of the shipping time.

Here's how it played out:

"The pick-up and delivery of the produce, commonly referred to as 'first mile' and 'last mile,' was done manually with a human driver, while the longest portion of the journey from Tucson, Arizona, to Dallas, Texas, also known as the 'middle mile,' was done autonomously using TuSimple's self-driving technology. The autonomous portion of the journey covered more than 900 miles. A human driver can complete the entire trip in 24 hours and six minutes, while TuSimple demonstrated its autonomous system can make this trip in 14 hours and six minutes, which is 42% faster."

"Autonomous trucking technology is a real game-changer for us," said Tim Riley, President of the Giumarra Companies, in a prepared statement, "as its time and cost efficiencies provide us with an enhanced opportunity to supply fresher fruits and vegetables across the United States, particularly to food deserts and rural communities."

Full disclosure:  AWG is a longtime and valued MNB sponsor.