Sunday, 20 August, 2017

Billy Big Rigger! 'Platooning' Self-Driving E-Trucks Next on Tesla's List

Krales  The Verge Krales The Verge
Heather Davidson | 12 August, 2017, 00:29

The electric-car maker also reportedly met with the California DMV to discuss "efforts with autonomous trucks".

Peloton Technology is working with Volvo on a similar platooning system to Tesla's trucks.

Tesla is now developing self-driving truck on an electric move, which can move independently or in a convoy following the leading vehicle. Reuters revealed the information after viewing an email exchange between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.

From that it was obvious to us that the technology would be applied to the upcoming Tesla semi truck. Its most popular competition comes from Uber and Waymo, Google's former autonomous vehicle development company now under its parent firm Alphabet Inc. If trucks at the back of the formation were able to automatically follow a lead vehicle, that could cut the need for drivers.

"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", Zamani wrote. The company soon will begin testing a prototype driverless truck in Nevada. No particular date was mentioned, however, as to when this road testing would be. Then, on July 10, Zamani asked the DMV for testing license terms. But a report in Reuters adds a new, if somewhat unsurprising, wrinkle to the mix: the Tesla big rig is probably going to have self-driving capabilities. Tesla certainly won't be the last to pursue autonomous tech for commercial purposes. The state officials confirmed that a meeting with Tesla did happen regarding the matter.

Vehicles that platoon must continually communicate with each other and the infrastructure around them, but the distances between them are far too short to allow a human driver to react in time to emergencies.

Musk has said that potential customers are eager to get a Tesla electric long-haul truck, but he faces doubt that the company can deliver.

But there's more to come, one of the new products being Tesla's promised all-electric semi tractor, apparently for long-haul freight.

Lithium ion battery researcher Venkat Viswanathan of Carnegie Mellon University said electric long-haul trucking is not economically feasible yet.

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