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posted by martyb on Thursday August 10 2017, @06:04PM   Printer-friendly
from the semileaks dept.

https://arstechnica.com/cars/2017/08/reuters-tesla-looking-to-start-testing-autonomous-semi-in-platoon-formation/

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in April that the company is working on pushing a long-haul electric semi truck to market, which is set to be formally revealed in September. Now, Reuters has viewed e-mail correspondence between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles that indicate that the company has discussed testing semi trucks on the state's roads.

The Reuters report also mentioned that the semis would be outfitted with autonomous functions, so they could traverse the nation's highways without a driver in the front seat. The e-mails seemed to indicate that Tesla's semis would "platoon," that is, drive in a formation such that a number of trucks could follow a lead vehicle. It's unclear whether the lead vehicle would have a driver, or operate autonomously with a person in the front seat to monitor safety.

[...] Reuters also reported that California DMV officials will meet with Tesla this week "to talk about Tesla's efforts with autonomous trucks."


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  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday August 10 2017, @07:54PM (1 child)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 10 2017, @07:54PM (#551830) Journal

    It seems that consideration of Autonomous Semi Trucks, has several facets to consider:
    * safety of the truck payload (probably number one concern to managers)
    * safety of the general public sharing the roads with Autonomous Semi Trucks
    * unemployment caused by automation of drivers, not just Semi Trucks

    Most of us think our job cannot be automated. But so did a lot of people, like truck drivers. What happens when most people are put out of jobs by automation?

    Don't get me wrong, I think autonomous trucks are a great idea. With delivery trucks using drones or walking robots for the last 35 feet to the doorstep. (But what about dogs?) Also, Johnny Cab's seem like a good replacement for taxi drivers.

    What if other companies in addition to Tesla also start testing autonomous Semi Trucks in Nevada?

    --

    There was a certain coal miner. Then the coal mine closed.

    So he got a job on an automobile assembly line. Then the factory was automated with robots.

    So he became a truck driver, because . . . those trucks aren't going to drive themselves.

    He decided to get into high tech, so he learned . . .

    TRS-80 BASIC

    because someone who is good with cyber recommended it.

    Tesla Discussing Autonomous Semi Truck Testing in Nevada

    Does the word Autonomous apply to the word Testing or to Semi Trucks?

    Using robots to test semi trucks is more efficient than using humans to test semi trucks.

    The best kind of parser returns a lazy list of parse results. So it, in fact, stops execution at the first successful parse, but will backtrack and continue parsing if you access the 2nd, 3rd, etc elements of the lazy list. Just sayin' Too bad clojure core.logic doesn't work this way.

    --
    If we tell conservatives that the climate is transitioning, they will work to stop it.
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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday August 10 2017, @08:15PM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday August 10 2017, @08:15PM (#551841) Journal

    Most of us think our job cannot be automated. But so did a lot of people, like truck drivers. What happens when most people are put out of jobs by automation?

    There is a chronic shortage of truck drivers.

    http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/drivers/news/story/2016/12/state-of-trucking-for-2017.aspx [truckinginfo.com]

    This will become more pronounced as the Amazon vs. Walmart war heats up.

    Bad accidents can bankrupt some trucking companies. Even if autonomous trucks become safer than human driven ones, the liability situation is different. In some cases, an at-fault driver who is an independent trucker can be a scapegoat for other companies. A driverless truck can't provide assistance to people who are hurt, and can't try to patch up or hide evidence of costly (EPA) leaks.

    Despite the issues, there is going to be a lot of interest in making this happen since the alternative is well-paid drivers with lots of turnover, sign-on bonuses just to get them in the door and sticking around for a couple of years, etc.

    Does the word Autonomous apply to the word Testing or to Semi Trucks?

    Don't be a wonkey monkey.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]