Autonomous truck technology company TuSimple recently issued a statement on a crash involving one of their vehicles that happened earlier this year.
On July 26, TuSimple issued a public statement on a crash that occurred on April 6, 2022, in apparent response to a dash cam video shared by a popular trucking YouTube channel called the Asian Mai Show.
Last week, the Asian Mai Show shared a video from an alleged “whistleblower” with knowledge of TuSimple. The video features both driver-facing and forward-facing views from the truck.
In the video, you can see two human operators inside the autonomous truck as the vehicle suddenly veers from a middle lane across the far left lane, crashing into a median.
The YouTube video garnered more than 181,000 views.
You can view the video below.
In the July 26 statement TuSimple blamed the incident on human error. “On April 6, 2022, a human error occurred when two operators in a TuSimple vehicle incorrectly reengaged the autonomous driving mode without completing all of the steps necessary to safely reengage, resulting in the truck scraping a median. Fortunately, no one was injured, there was no property damage, and the only visible sign of the incident was a minor scrape on the truck,” the company said.
An article from the Wall Street Journal explained in more detail that because the human operator failed to reboot the autonomous system properly, the system engaged a left-turn command issued about two and a half minutes prior.
TuSimple went on to say that they responded to the April 6 incident by grounding their fleet of autonomous trucks and launching an internal investigation into the cause of the crash.
“With learnings from this review in hand, we upgraded all of our systems with new automated system checks to prevent this kind of human error from ever happening again and we reported the incident to NHTSA and the Arizona Department of Transportation. This, along with all incidents involving companies building autonomous driving systems, can be found on NHTSA’s website where information about the April 6th incident has been publicly available for more than a month,” TuSimple said.
After TuSimple self-reported the crash to the NHTSA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requested additional information. TuSimple says that they are cooperating with both NHTSA and FMCSA investigators.
Whether it’s traditional vehicles or autonomous vehicles being tested, any time a person is behind the wheel of a vehicle, there is a chance an accident could occur. In fact, human error is responsible for 94% of all accidents. Some question the safety of testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, but this testing comes along with massive amounts of simulations, track testing, and analysis. We’ve also created strong partnerships with local safety authorities to ensure we are doing it right. Only through public road testing will we be able to safely bring this technology to the world.
We are proud of our work at TuSimple and remain completely confident in our progress to deliver advanced autonomous trucking at a commercial scale to build a safer, more efficient, and sustainable future on the road.