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

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 takyon on Thursday August 10 2017, @08:15PM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {}> 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. []

    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.

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