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Autonomous truck firm TuSimple plans heavy layoffs

tusimple driverless
Specially upfitted class 8 semi-truck navigated 80 miles in December 2021 without a human in the vehicle, traveling on surface streets and highways, interacting naturally with other motorists.

TuSimple, the autonomous driving technology company, plans to cut about half its workforce and scale back its business.

The Wall Street Journal reported the plans December 17, citing people familiar with the company. TuSimple has about 1,400 workers across its operations, from its headquarters in San Diego, to Arizona, Texas, and China.

The Journal said the layoffs would cap a dramatic year that saw the removal of its CEO in October when TuSimple’s board determined Xiaodi Hou shared confidential information with a Chinese start-up trucking company, Hydron.

TuSimple now faces several federal investigations into its relationship with Hydron.

Cheng Lu, who previously served as CEO, returned to the company last month, and when asked by the Journal about the planned layoffs, said he plans to “right the ship, and this includes ensuring the company is capital efficient.”

About a year ago, TuSimple successfully completed the world’s first fully autonomous semi-truck run on open public roads without a human in the vehicle and without human intervention.

The run took place on December 22, 2021 and required TuSimple’s upfitted autonomous semi-truck to begin its journey from a large railyard in Tucson, AZ, and travel more than 80 miles on surface streets and highways at night, safely arriving at a high-volume distribution center in the Phoenix metro area.


Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services