US-based Navistar International has teamed up with self-driving technology company TuSimple to produce autonomous trucks.

The collaboration builds on a two-year long technical partnership between the two companies.

As agreed, Navistar and TuSimple will work to develop SAE Level 4 self-driving trucks and start production by 2024.

The self-driving vehicles will be available for sale through Navistar’s traditional sales channels in the US, Canada and Mexico.

Navistar president and CEO Persio Lisboa said: “Autonomous technology is entering our industry and will have a profound impact on our customers’ businesses.

“Navistar’s strategic partnership with TuSimple positions us to be a leader in developing solutions for our customers by leveraging our organisations’ collective expertise to integrate our vehicle design and systems integration capabilities with TuSimple’s innovative autonomous technology.

“This announcement marks a significant milestone in our development journey with TuSimple and we look forward to furthering our relationship in the months to come.”

Currently, TuSimple operates 40 self-driving trucks that are used to transport freight between Arizona and Texas.

The company aims to carry out completely driverless operations next year.

Last year, TuSimple raised $120m to support the development of autonomous driving technology.

TuSimple president Cheng Lu said: “TuSimple and Navistar began joint development of pre-production units in 2018 and now we are kicking off a full go-to-market production programme.

“We are honoured to be partnered with Navistar. The investment in TuSimple and the partnership with Navistar marks an important milestone for our company.

“With the combined expertise of Navistar and TuSimple, we have a clear path to commercialise self-driving Class 8 trucks at scale.”

Under the latest strategic partnership, Navistar also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple for an undisclosed sum.