Today’s Pickup: Tesla semi rollout delayed

Good day,

Elon Musk has delayed the public unveiling of the Tesla semi, citing issues with the Model 3 production rollout and a focus increasing battery production to help Puerto Rico, Musk tweeted late on Friday.

The semi was supposed to be unveiled on Oct. 26, but that has been pushed back to Nov. 16.

The semi has been shrouded in secrecy, although hints have been released sporadically. For instance, in an interview with Reuters, Ryder’s Scott Perry, chief technology officer and chief procurement officer, said the vehicle would have an initial potential range of 200 to 300 miles.

Last week a picture emerged on Reddit that was said to be that of the Tesla semi. The silver and black cab sits on a trailer at an undisclosed California location. No additional details are provided, but there appears to be a roof fairing sitting on the ground to the left of the vehicle, which is not shaped like any current tractor.

Musk also came under fire last week from Scott Miller, GM’s director of autonomous vehicle integration. In a discussion with reporters, Miller responded to reports that Musk has said Tesla cars produced since October 2016 have all the necessary hardware to enable full autonomy.

“I think he is full of crap,” Miller is quoted as saying by Business Insider. “To think you can see everything you need for a level five autonomous car [full self-driving] with cameras and radar, I don’t know how you do that.”

Did you know?

According to the National Retail Federation, nonstore sales this holiday season will rise between 11% and 15%. Deloitte is even more optimistic, predicting online sales to rise between 18% and 21%.


“Too many states lack too many safety laws and that is contributing to this public health crisis. At the federal level, critical safety standards that would make our highways safer for everyone are delayed or ignored. 

Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, on the rise in highway deaths in 2016

In other news:

Logistic firms add jobs

Ramping up for what is predicted to be good holiday season, freight transport and warehousing firms added over 12,000 jobs in September. (Wall Street Journal)

Truck-involved traffic deaths rise

Fatalities in accidents involving large trucks rose 5.4% in 2016 according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (Fleet Owner)

Enforcement blitz coming Oct. 15

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Operation Safe Driver week will kick off Oct. 15. The week will focus on speeding, texting, seatbelt usage and other unsafe driving practices. (CCJ)

FedEx, UPS work together to lobby for infrastructure improvements

Rivals FedEx and UPS joined forces in a Wall Street Journal op-ed to call for more focus on improving the nation’s infrastructure. (Inbound Logistics)

Finding $24 billion in potential savings

North American Council for Freight Efficiency Executive Director penned an article explaining the success of the Run on Less program and how much money fleets can save by adopting some of the practices. (GreenBiz)

Final Thoughts

News that traffic fatalities increased in 2016 – and this includes both large trucks and automobiles – is disturbing to say the least. More technology than ever is being added to vehicles of all types, yet two years in a row fatalities rose. It’s time to look at other reasons, such as infrastructure, policies, etc.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.