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TuSimple partners with PCC in truck driver program

June 13, 2019

PCC and self-driving truck company TuSimple announced today the launch of the first autonomous driving certificate program for truck drivers. The Autonomous Vehicle Driver and Operations Specialist program will enable truck drivers to expand their roles into this new and rapidly expanding industry.

The certificate will prepare individuals for jobs such as training the autonomous system as test drivers, operating the vehicle in situations where autonomous driving is not suitable and to remotely monitor the system from a command center.

The certificate program will teach experienced truck drivers how to operate and work with autonomous trucks in as quickly as one semester. The program requires a Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) prior to enrollment as drivers will build on their trucking knowledge with each course.

TuSimple and Pima Community College have co-created a curriculum for the certificate program.  The program includes five classes: Introduction to Autonomous Vehicles, Industrial Safety, Computer Hardware Components, Electrical Systems I, as well as, Transportation and Traffic Management. 

In conjunction with the program, TuSimple will prioritize hiring graduates of the certificate program for jobs at its Tucson, AZ testing and development center.

The program will be offered at Piima starting September 2019 and registration will begin in August 2019. Pima and TuSimple will collaborate with other schools interested in offering the same program. For information or to enroll, please call PCC’s Center for Transportation Training at 520-206-2744. 

The trucking industry is currently facing a significant driver shortage. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA) it could reach 175,000 by 2024. Experts say it is difficult to attract young people into the profession, the average driver age has climbed to 55 years old, and drivers aren’t staying in the field, the industry is approaching a 100 percent turnover rate per year.