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(Photo : TuSimple)

Self-driving truck developer TuSimple gave insight into an April accident in which one of its vehicles abruptly drove across Interstate 10 in Tucson and slammed into a concrete barricade.

What Happened During the Tucson Road Accident?

“An error occurred when a test driver and safety engineer tried to reenter autonomous driving mode before the system computer was primed to do so,” said Xiaodi Hou, TuSimple co-founder and CEO, according to TechCrunch. “The truck swerved, making contact with the highway barrier.”

During the earnings call on Tuesday, he stated that no one was injured, no property was destroyed, and the only visible sign of the crash was a minor scratch on the truck.

Tucson.com reported that since 2015, the company has been testing self-driving trucks with human-drivers onboard on Interstate 10.

How Does the Company Deal With the Accident?

The company improved all of its systems and overhauled its human-machine interface after identifying the root cause of the error, according to TuSimple CEO, to ensure that the same issue would never arise again.

On April 6, when the event occurred, TechCrunch noted that TuSimple grounded the entire fleet and launched a separate investigation.

According to Tucson.com, the company claims that it informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the occurrence on its own. In addition, it also hosted a visit by officials of NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Hou stated that although the two authorities have not yet discovered any anomalies or provided TuSimple with any safety advice, their investigation is still ongoing.

TuSimple Will Continue Its Plan to Commercialize Autonomous Services

TuSimple also reiterated its plans to commercialize driver-out operations, in which there is no human safety operator present in the vehicle, according to TechCrunch.

Although TuSimple said that the accident would not impede its plans to start driver-out operations for Union Pacific Railroad, it is now unknown whether the company is even on track for that.

He also reaffirmed that the company’s target date for driver-out in Texas is 2023, but he omitted to say whether they will be preliminary test runs or fully operational operations.

TuSimple’s Q2 Revue Was Positive

TuSimple’s total revenue was $2.6 million in the Q2, which is up 73% year-over-year and 13% sequentially.

TuSimple reported a net loss of $108.6 million for the quarter, down from $116.5 million in the same period last year. Total operational expenses for the company were $107.5 million this quarter compared to $119.4 million last year.

TuSimple spent $3.8 million on property and equipment purchases to get ready for driver-out operations and to grow its autonomous freight network. Meanwhile, $60.8 million in hiring-related expenses, including a $22.4 million stock-based compensation expense, made up the majority of the company’s R&D expenditures.

With $1.16 billion in cash on hand, the company ended the quarter.

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