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TuSimple reportedly tried to pass off a self-driving truck crash as ‘human error’ - The Verge

TuSimple is saying that a crash involving one of its autonomous trucks is the result of "human error," but researchers say that’s an oversimplification.

TuSimple is in trouble.

Last April, a semi-trailer truck operated by the San Diego-based company that was traveling down I-10 in Tucson, Arizona, suddenly lurched left, slamming into a concrete divider, according to dashcam footage leaked to YouTuber Asian Mai. TuSimple blamed “human error,” but a report in The Wall Street Journal says that’s a major oversimplification.

An internal report viewed by the Journal says that the crash occurred because “a person in the cab hadn’t properly rebooted the autonomous driving system before engaging it, causing it to execute an outdated command.” The left-turn command was 2.5 minutes old and should have been erased but wasn’t, according to the internal report.

But autonomous vehicle researchers say that blaming the crash on human error is misleading, arguing that common safeguards would have prevented the autonomous driving system from executing the outdated command and likely would have prevented the crash. AV systems should not respond to commands that are even a couple hundredths of a second old, the researchers told the Journal. And sharp turns at 65mph should also never have been allowed.

TuSimple, a leading supplier of autonomous truck technology, insists that no one was injured in the crash and no property was damaged. “This is the first on the road incident for which we’ve been responsible,” the company said in a statement posted on its website. “While our safety record is many times better than traditional manually-driven trucks, we take our responsibility to find and resolve all safety issues very seriously.”

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Seattle, Washington
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