Tesla unveiled its all-electric semi truck in Nov. 2017 and said “every truck we sell has Autopilot as standard.” The trucks will be equipped with the company’s latest semi-autonomous driving technology called “Enhanced Autopilot.” This will allow the trucks to stay within a driving lane, match the speed of traffic conditions, and change lanes.
Tesla claims the semi truck can drive 500 miles between charges, hauling 80,000 pounds along the way. Tesla said manufacturing of the semi truck won’t begin until sometime in 2019.
In August 2017, Reuters reported that Tesla wanted to test its trucks in California and Nevada. Here’s part of an email exchange from that Reuters report: “To insure we are on the same page, our primary goal is the ability to operate our prototype test trucks in a continuous manner across the state line and within the States of Nevada and California in a platooning and/or Autonomous mode without having a person in the vehicle,” Tesla regulatory official Nasser Zamani wrote to Nevada DMV official April Sanborn. He made no reference to any dates for potential road tests.”
William K. says
What would be accepted today by both drivers and trucking companies is driver assistance systems. Hardware to help with safe following, and especially, systems to help keep the speed safe as road conditions change, while alerting the drivers to conditions ahead. Reducing fatigue while improving driver awareness would be accepted by both sides of the issue. Who could argue with improving both safety and profits?
William K. says
Here is another question, which is, how many different responses does the truck control computer have for any given situation, either actual or possible? The lack of the correct response is why the UBER car killed that woman in Florida. The car had only two choices and both were wrong! When the computer vision system noticed the woman next to the road it should have moved away, either into the next lane, or at least to the far edge of it’s own lane. That is what a smart human driver would do. . But it is certain that the computer only saw a clear lane and thus it was not in a position to avoid hitting the poor woman. If the car had been on the left edge of it’s lane it would have either missed her or just grazed her, but instead it saw no potential problem and so went on with it’s program of staying in the lane center. This is the intrinsic flaw in computer driven cars and there is no way to fix it. The best approach would be to stop wasting money before hundreds of folks die!