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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 Phoenix666 on Thursday August 10 2017, @09:26PM (4 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday August 10 2017, @09:26PM (#551882) Journal

    Yeah that's what we already essentially have with double semis and I think I recall there were triples for a while there too, but the problems were exactly what you described: terrifying and dangerous for everyone else on the road. We already do have platoons of containers that avoid those problems and they're called trains. If anything we ought to mandate more freight travel by rail than by road, because nowadays even in the middle of Nebraska in the middle of the winter the cross-country interstates are so loaded with normal semis doing the long-haul routes that it's hairy driving for everyone else.

    Of course, me I would go one further and say, "Quit buying cheap crap from China you don't need and fix or build what you already have," and solve the freight efficiency problem that way.

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  • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Friday August 11 2017, @01:41PM (3 children)

    by fyngyrz (6567) on Friday August 11 2017, @01:41PM (#552261) Journal

    Out here in Montana, we have 80 MPH highway speeds and triples are perfectly legal.

    So there's that. :)

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday August 11 2017, @01:55PM (2 children)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday August 11 2017, @01:55PM (#552266) Journal

      Gagh! 80mph speed limits are for pussies. "Reasonable and Prudent" was manly. How else can you get down to Billings to do your shopping and back in a day? Lewistown and Cut Bank are not shopping meccas.

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      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Friday August 11 2017, @02:08PM (1 child)

        by fyngyrz (6567) on Friday August 11 2017, @02:08PM (#552280) Journal

        "Reasonable and Prudent" was manly.

        Talk to the feds. They explicitly told our legislators that if they didn't get rid of he "reasonable and prudent" standard, federal highway funding would no longer be forthcoming, and our legislators, under that duress, saw to it that this occurred by pushing our state supreme court to undo the law.

        Our roads were safer under the reasonable and prudent laws [citation [motorists.org]]

        Yes, higher speeds make for more devastating impacts, but thinking, aware drivers make for fewer impacts. Centered, focused drivers concentrating on driving are safer than those playing "watch the needle" while bored to tears by what they know are less-than-appropriate speeds and wasted time.

        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday August 11 2017, @02:24PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday August 11 2017, @02:24PM (#552289) Journal

          It's also not like you ever got to go much faster than 80mph anyway, because you were always coming up behind a logging truck or Winnebago anywhere near Helena and west into the Swan, or a truck full of cattle or farm equipment anywhere from Harlowton to Malta. But it was pleasant to not have to worry about the fuzz for once. Going back was a feeling of Ahhhhh, freedom!

          Gosh wouldn't it be nice to have more freedom places like that in the US?

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.