TuSimple investor fraud lawsuit is a warning for the Driverless Industry

Michael DeKort
4 min readSep 4, 2022



Article — TuSimple truck incident leads to investor lawsuit

· https://landline.media/tusimple-truck-incident-leads-to-investor-lawsuit/

Article- Self-Driving Truck Accident Draws Attention to Safety at TuSimple

· https://www.wsj.com/articles/self-driving-truck-accident-draws-attention-to-safety-at-tusimple-11659346202

The lawsuit

· https://landline.media/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/45850521_complaint.pdf

The lawfirm’s case webpage

· https://bergermontague.com/news/class-action-filed-to-recover-losses-for-tusimple-investors/

From the article — TuSimple truck incident leads to investor lawsuit

When asked if the automation system was engaged during the incident, TuSimple reported “Unknown, see Narrative.”

The lawsuit claims that the company made false and misleading statements and failed to disclose the following:

  • TuSimple’s commitment to safety was significantly overstated and it concealed fundamental problems with the company’s technology.
  • The manufacturer was rushing the testing of its autonomous driving technology in order to deliver driverless trucks to the market ahead of its more safety-conscious competitors.
  • There was a corporate culture within the company that suppressed or ignored safety concerns in favor of unrealistically ambitious testing and delivery schedules.
  • The aforementioned conduct made accidents involving the company’s autonomous driving technology more likely.
  • The aforementioned conduct invited enhanced regulatory scrutiny and investigatory action toward the company.

From the Wall Street Journal Article — Self-Driving Truck Accident Draws Attention to Safety at TuSimple

TuSimple’s founder, Xiaodi Hou, a graduate of the California Institute of Technology who holds a Ph.D. in computation and neural systems, said the December event showed the company had cleared the final technological hurdle ahead of commercializing autonomous trucks. “We have actually no unconquered technical challenges on the table,” Mr. Hou said in a March interview on CNBC.

Safety drivers, meanwhile, have flagged concerns about failures in a mechanism that didn’t always enable them to shut off the self-driving system by turning the steering wheel, a standard safety feature, other people familiar with the matter said. Company management dismissed the safety drivers’ concerns, the people said.

People familiar with the matter say those who raised safety concerns were ignored, or even fired in some instances, which the company spokesman denied. John Lindland, once the company’s top safety official, said in a lawsuit filed in federal court in California in March 2021 that he was wrongfully fired after he refused to sign off on safety standards that he said the company had yet to meet. — “Essentially, Mr. Hou would come up with an idea, instruct his teams to execute the idea, and then would test the idea on public roads, bypassing all safety standards and regulations,” Mr. Lindland said in a filing in the case, which is pending.

My Points

The part about not knowing if the system autonomous systems were engaged is either a lie or demonstrates gross negligence and incompetence

It is a lie to say “We have actually no unconquered technical challenges on the table,”

The reports of issues from the “safety drivers” and safety engineers being ignored and them being fired is extremely concerning. (They should file with the DoT IG and possibly receive whistleblower protection.)

Wait until the legal community and the public realizes the problem is far worse than this one issue. The stock will go to zero. As will the rest. This is not confined to TuSimple. Don’t confuse more reckless with safe and feasible. They will realize it was never possible to create these systems in the first place, the process requires crashes and harming people, and these companies know it. And this is all avoidable if the proper development/testing approach and simulation and modeling technology were used. (Which will be very easy to prove and support through discovery.)

The industry should take note of this, especially Richard Bishop, who advises most of these companies. This is not confined to this company and is an industry wide problem that can be reversed. (Who I also tried to convince to take the right approach many times.)

More in my articles here

Driverless Vehicle Makers are Switching to Trucks to make things Easier — It’s Nowhere Near Enough

· https://medium.com/@imispgh/driverless-vehicle-makers-are-switching-to-trucks-to-make-things-easier-its-nowhere-near-enough-14e87bae76c0

The Autonomous Vehicle Industry can be Saved by doing the Opposite of what is being done now to create this technology

· https://medium.com/@imispgh/the-autonomous-vehicle-industry-can-be-saved-by-doing-the-opposite-of-what-is-being-done-now-b4e5c6ae9237

How the failed Iranian hostage rescue in 1980 can save the Autonomous Vehicle industry

Autonomous Vehicles Need to Have Accidents to Develop this Technology

The Hype of Geofencing for Autonomous Vehicles

How the failed Iranian hostage rescue in 1980 can save the Autonomous Vehicle industry

My name is Michael DeKort — I am Navy veteran (ASW C4ISR) and a former system engineer, engineering, and program manager for Lockheed Martin. I worked in aircraft simulation, the software engineering manager for all of NORAD, a software project manager on an Aegis Weapon System baseline, and a C4ISR systems engineer for DoD/DHS and the US State Department (counterterrorism). And a Senior Advisory Technical Project Manager for FTI to the Army AI Task Force at CMU NREC (National Robotics Engineering Center)

Autonomous Industry Participation — Air and Ground

- Founder SAE On-Road Autonomous Driving Simulation Task Force

- Member SAE ORAD Verification and Validation Task Force

- Member UNECE WP.29 SG2 Virtual Testing

- Stakeholder USDOT VOICES (Virtual Open Innovation Collaborative Environment for Safety)

- Member SAE G-35, Modeling, Simulation, Training for Emerging AV Tech

- Member SAE G-34 / EUROCAE WG-114 Artificial Intelligence in Aviation

- Member Teleoperation Consortium

- Member CIVATAglobal — Civic Air Transport Association

- Stakeholder for UL4600 — Creating AV Safety Guidelines

- Member of the IEEE Artificial Intelligence & Autonomous Systems Policy Committee

SAE Autonomous Vehicle Engineering magazine editor calling me “prescient” regarding my position on Tesla and the overall driverless vehicle industry’s untenable development and testing approach — (Page 2) https://assets.techbriefs.com/EML/2021/digital_editions/ave/AVE-202109.pdf

Presented the IEEE Barus Ethics Award for Post 9/11 DoD/DHS Whistleblowing Efforts



Michael DeKort

Non-Tribal Truth Seeker-IEEE Barus Ethics Award/9–11 Whistleblower-Aerospace/DoD Systems Engineer/Member SAE Autonomy and eVTOL development V&V & Simulation