Tesla Semi 'Convoy Mode' Is A Perfect Match For The DriveOhio I-70 Truck Automation Corridor Project

by Ma. Claribelle Deveza June 29, 2020

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Featured Image Credit: Jerry Rig Everything/YouTube

The Tesla Semi’s “Convoy Mode” and other Full Self-Driving features will be a perfect match for the upcoming DriveOhio I-70 Truck Automation Corridor project. The upcoming initiative is expected to advance the development, testing, and deployment of smart mobility solutions for trucking—technology that Tesla is actively developing for its vehicles like the Semi, a Class 8 truck.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved a $4.4 million Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grant to the Ohio Department of Transportation. This grant was for the DriveOhio I-70 Truck Automation Corridor project, which is being developed in collaboration with the Indiana Department of Transportation.

As noted in a press release from the FHWA, the Truck Automation Corridor project is aimed at promoting the adoption of automated technologies into the daily operations of freight carriers, particularly those that deliver products along the I-70 corridor across Indiana and Ohio. The grants this year in particular are poised to be utilized for initiatives such as the use of real-time travel information, vehicle communications tech, AR, and advanced safety features.

The Tesla Semi is tailor-fit for such an initiative, considering that the Class 8 long-hauler is built from the ground up with tech and autonomy in mind. Being a Tesla, the Semi is equipped with a suite of sensors that make it compatible with the company’s Autopilot and FSD suites. Elon Musk also highlighted that the Semi will be fitted with features that would make it one of the safest trucks in the industry, from its Armor Glass to its four Model 3-derived electric motors.

During the Semi's unveiling, Elon Musk also mentioned “Convoy Mode,” a feature that would allow multiple trucks to draft close to each other, optimizing battery power and range. But this is not the headlining trick for Convoy Mode, as it would also allow one manned Semi to lead a number of unmanned trucks on a route. Such a feature is, of course, dependent on the development and eventual rollout of Tesla’s FSD suite. But as those who follow Tesla would know, the improvements in FSD have been accelerating as of late as well.

The Tesla Semi may very well be one of the most underrated vehicles that are coming out from Tesla. The trucking business is a massive industry, after all, and it is also responsible for a significant amount of emissions. Rolling out the Semi then accomplishes two very important things for Tesla: it could provide the company with a stronger baance sheet, and it could significantly contribute to Elon Musk’s ongoing battle against fossil fuels.




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