Autonomous trucking technology company TuSimple and truck manufacturer Navistar have scrapped their deal to co-develop self-driving trucks, the companies said Monday. Neither company provided a reason for ending the partnership.
Two years ago, TuSimple and Navistar had agreed to jointly develop and produce purpose-built autonomous semi trucks by 2024; this would be a move away from retrofitting existing trucks with autonomous sensors and technology. Navistar bought an undisclosed stake in TuSimple at the time, and is still a shareholder in the company.
TuSimple has received close to 7,000 reservations for its Navistar trucks with customers like DHL Supply Chain, Schneider and U.S. Xpress. It’s not clear if any of those orders will be fulfilled now. Neither company responded to TechCrunch for comment, but a statement from the companies states, “The decision to end the development agreement does not preclude the companies from working together in the future.”
TuSimple stated in October that it plans to achieve commercialization in 2023.
The move to end the partnership comes less than a month after Cheng Lu returned to his role as CEO of TuSimple after previously being ousted. The return of Lu came days after the company fired his predecessor following an internal probe that showed certain employees having ties and sharing information with Hydron, a China-backed hydrogen-powered trucking company.