TuSimple Stock ($TSP): Disrupting the trucking industry with self-driving trucks - The Average Joe

    TuSimple Stock ($TSP): Disrupting the trucking industry with self-driving trucks

    Kevin Roche — Analyst

    Kevin Roche — Analyst

    April 20, 2021

    Tusimple stock

    April 20, 2021

    Trucking is facing a crisis – by 2028, the industry is expected to be short as many as 160,000 drivers. Enter: TuSimple. (TuSimple Stock: $TSP).

    The autonomous trucking startup went public last Thursday with a solution to the driver shortage – simply removing the driver from the equation with self-driving trucks. 

    The trucking industry is running on empty

    Trucking is an $800b industry ready for disruption. Almost 70% of America’s consumer goods are delivered by trucks but labor laws – which cap drivers shifts at 11 hours – create inefficiencies by breaking up long drives over a few days. The pandemic only added to the crisis:

    • Too much demand in shipment from increased e-commerce usage during COVID
    • Too little supply of drivers from aging drivers leaving the workforce and a lack of interest in the job from the younger demographic.

    In an effort to bring in new workers, trucking companies have increased wages by over 40% in recent months – but trucking startups have a different solution to the shortage in mind.

    Are we ready for self-driving trucks? 

    TuSimple expects its self-driving trucks to hit the road by 2024 but are they really ready for prime time? Auto experts are predicting that self-driving cars won’t be sold for another decade and the timeline for self-driving trucks could be even longer.

    Although TuSimple is the first autonomous driving company to list on a US stock exchange, it’s not the only company working on driverless trucking:

    • PlusAI – a startup that retrofits existing semi-trucks with self-driving tech, is reportedly in discussions to go public via SPAC.
    • Startups like Aurora, Ike and Embark – are all racing to become the leader in self-driving trucks.

    While TuSimple sees a rapid path to profitability once its driverless 18-wheelers hit the road in 2024, a lot can happen between now and then.

    For investors (TuSimple Stock: $TSP)… There’s a long haul to success 

    Are self-driving trucks the future? Likely. Are we there yet? Likely not. In the last 3 years, TuSimple lost over $300m – with no expectation of making any substantial revenue until 2024.

    Speculative companies have fallen out of favor amongst stock market investors in recent months. Companies with zero revenue and nothing but a prototype (i.e. solid-state EV batteries, flying taxis etc.) have fallen the hardest since growth stocks crashed in Feb.

    For now, investors may want to keep their hands on the wheel and steer away.

    Dive Deeper: Self-driving cars are (almost) here and these are the companies at the front of the industry.

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