TuSimple will not see any changes to the business model after the security check.


Xiaodi Hou, co-founder and CEO of TuSimple, responded on Tuesday to financial analysts’ concerns about a potential security investigation on April 6 involving one of its driverless trucks.

“This was a fixable defect event, not a material change to our business model,” he said during the company’s second-quarter analyst call. “As the CEO of TuSimple, I take responsibility for this.”

The risk and the potential safety issues with autonomous cars were detailed in The Wall Street Journal on Monday. The Journal notes that the crash, which was announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in June, is under investigation by NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Hue said the accident occurred when a test driver and safety engineer “tried to re-enter automatic driving mode before the system’s computer was activated.” That forced the truck to swerve and hit a highway barrier, Howe said. “No one was hurt, and the only evidence of the accident was a few scratches and some minor damage to our truck.”

After the accident, San Diego-based TuSimple (NASDAQ: TSP ) grounded its entire fleet and launched an independent investigation, Howe said. Although the journal article said the company’s technology was to blame, Huy said it was caused by human error.

“Neither FMCSM nor NHTSA asked us to make any changes, and as part of our own review process, we’ve updated all of our systems to prevent something like this from happening again,” Howe said.

The crash and the ongoing investigation will not affect the timeline for bringing the “driver” technology to market, Howe said in May of updates on the company’s first-quarter analyst call. The company says its path to commercialization by the end of 2023 includes:

  • Day and night jobs.
  • More drive-thru exits, including in Texas.
  • Removal of support vehicles.
  • Transporting customers’ cargo on a driverless run.
  • A significant reduction in line-of-sight costs per mile comparable to human-driven trucks.

“As we prepare for driver operations, we will continue to do so in a measured manner, aiming to maintain a balance between hitting our technological advances and hitting prudent costs,” the company reported on Tuesday.

The revised full-year 2022 guidance includes cash flow ending December 31 of approximately $950 million, compared to prior guidance of $900 million, and adjusted EBITDA loss of $360 million to $380 million, compared to $400 million to $420 million.

TuSimple Q2 highlights

Highlights of the quarter included:

  • Total revenue was $2.6 million, up 73 percent year over year and 13 percent sequentially.
  • From a loss from operations of $110.7 million, adjusted EBITDA was $82.7 million.
  • Cash flow at the end of the quarter was approximately $1.16 billion, a decrease of $81 million from Q1.
  • Road miles increased 13 percent to 8.1 million, up from 7.2 million miles in the first quarter.
  • A partnership with European logistics company Hegelmann Group, including the first booking of purpose-built Level 4 (highly autonomous) trucks to operate in North America.
  • Ten reservations have been added for purpose-built autonomous cars, bringing the total to 7,485 reservations as of June 30.

TuSimple announced that Thomas Jensen, who recently served as a lobbyist for UPS, will lead the company’s government affairs team and strengthen federal and state advocacy efforts.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by John Gallagher.

The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 list of rental carriers includes UPS (No. 2).





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