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Blog Reuters: Tesla Planning Driverless Truck Platoons

Discussion in 'Tesla, Inc.' started by TMC Staff, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. TMC Staff

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    #1 TMC Staff, Aug 9, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2017
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    With the all-electric Tesla Semi scheduled to debut next month, news has developed regarding a plan for the trucks to be part of a system of driverless “platoons.” Reuters reported that the company is getting close enough to a prototype that it has discussed road tests with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles and planned...
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  2. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    You just had to have seen that coming.... Nevada to SV. Same (ish) roads day in and day out. Charge up all the packs before you load them and the truck can drive straight through. No need for all that height shown in the article artwork :)
     
  3. AceSkywalker

    AceSkywalker Member

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    Big changes coming with the advent of driverless trucks.

    Anywhere from 3-5 million Americans are truck drivers, a respectable 1% of the entire population. A lion's share of those jobs are going to be gone within a single generation, as companies will see the tons of money they save every year having less humans on the payroll.

    Autonomous trucking, like autonomous vehicles, will see a significant decrease in passenger & cargo for rail and aircraft. We could see rail companies and airlines mothballing their fleets, if not closing up shop altogether. Doesn't bode well for road traffic though. Oh well, no one will care when you're not driving.
     
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  4. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    Or they could just use freight trains.
     
  5. AceSkywalker

    AceSkywalker Member

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    That doesn't fit into Elon Musk's fixation with vertically integrating as much as possible.
     
  6. Barklikeadog

    Barklikeadog Member

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    Ironic as the railroads seriously cut the fat 25yrs ago and put huge numbers of trucks on the roads as a result. Now they only haul X number of products. Too expensive to do otherwise
     
  7. Economite

    Economite Member

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    Sharing the road with a platoon of trucks (eve if the front truck has a driver) would be massively difficult. Sometimes its hard enough to change lanes when all the traffic is normal vehicles. Imagine if one "vehicle" is effectively a few hundred feet long? That would effectively be a long, moving, wall. Bad Idea.
     
  8. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    I was responding specifically about Tesla moving product from Sparks to Fremont. Presumably rail transport was part of the planning. That sort of transport is very labor and energy efficient.
     
  9. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    I believe the length limit in Australia is something like 55 meters. An automated platoon may leave gaps. These issues are what need to be figured out.

    Labor savings from eliminating drivers are much more important than energy savings from drafting.
     
  10. Economite

    Economite Member

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    I don't think (at least during the initial years) that drafting would be the main goal of tight platooning. I think the main goal of tight platooning would be to keep the drone trucks immediately behind the truck with the driver. Once you start breaking up the convoy to let in cars, the element of human control over the platoon will be heavily degraded. I doubt drones that fall back would ever be able to fully catch back up, so essentially you just have a bunch of driverless trucks on the road. Quite a while before anyone will trust that.
     
  11. rrosenbl

    rrosenbl Member

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    Electric Semis will be more energy efficient than trains, certainly less carbon emitting especially once GF-1 is covered in solar panels and can power the Sparks-Freemont run.
     
  12. AceSkywalker

    AceSkywalker Member

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    The advantage of the train is that they typically do not interfere with traffic patterns. Tesla dumping hundreds, if not thousands of semis onto the roads will do harm to traffic near their factories, and make their neighbors unhappy.
     
  13. rrosenbl

    rrosenbl Member

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    Daimler in Germany reported significant fuel savings on vehicle 2 & 3 when platooning, we covered it on the show earlier this year (don't have an efficient filing system for the stories we've covered). I recall a 15% savings.
     
  14. Economite

    Economite Member

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    I don't doubt that. My point is that while platooning can help energy efficiency, it is probably absolutely necessary (except in the fairly far future) in order to eliminate drivers in vehicles 2 & 3.

    But I think platooning will be intolerable to other drivers on the road.
     

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