The trucking industry is one of America’s oldest professions, and changes within the industry have been relatively trivial—until now. In a matter of days, Tesla will unveil its long awaited self-driving semi-truck.
Could this mark a significant leap in the history of the transportation industry?
Tesla’s Truck to Debut After Delays
We’ve been hearing about the possibility of self-driving semi-trucks for years now, but it looks like the wait is finally over. On November 16, 2017, Tesla will be showcasing their electric truck with self-driving capabilities after a much-anticipated wait and two delays since its release. Chief Executive of Tesla Elon Musk’s new release date marks the second time the carmaker has rescheduled the truck’s debut.
Musk explained that the pushback was due to the company diverting resources to fix production bottlenecks of the new Model 3 sedan, as well as assisting Puerto Rico with power backs for residents who suffered electric outages after the devastating hurricane streak last September.
A New Chapter in Trucking Industry History
The evolution of the semi-truck does not come without challenges. Old school truckers and industry veterans have put up a fair fight against this transition, maintaining the fear that self-driving trucks will eventually eliminate driving jobs and change the industry as a whole. With this new technology, the trucking industry could be significantly disrupted over the next few years while change is underway.
Advancements in Electronic Trucking
Tesla’s all-electric, heavy-duty semi-truck boasts enormous power and impressive specs. The truck has a reported working range of 200 to 300 miles, making it a regional hauler. Vast improvements have been made in on-board GPS devices, significantly increasing location accuracy from 100 miles to within a few meters. The cost of technology has also dropped drastically, allowing for improvements that were once a pipe-dream to become a reality.
The world around us is constantly changing and improving. Innovations such as virtual reality, robotics, artificial intelligence, 5G wireless, 3D printing and more could soon pervade the trucking industry. Advanced sensor technology will also allow trucking companies to move forward in the area of platooning trucks, giving even greater fuel efficiency.
Will Tesla’s Electric Semi-Truck Succeed?
Not many expected Tesla’s semi-trucks to succeed, let alone rival the top automakers in the auto industry. However, Tesla is a proven success that forced the industry to adapt and evolve with their revolutionary technology. This trend in electronic vehicles has the potential to become the next big thing.
How Will This Impact the Trucking Industry?
Currently, Tesla’s trucks have a mileage of 200 to 300 miles, which puts these trucks in the category of regional trucking. If Tesla were able to increase their mileage to well above 500, the trucking industry could certainly be impacted. Though as it exists, the arrival of the electronic truck should prove to be minimally disruptive within the trucking industry. Still, in the minds of many truckers, this is just the start of drastic change to a once traditional, all-American job.