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Today’s Pickup: Musk promises autonomous cross-country test in less than 6 months

Elon Musk is promising to conduct cross-country autonomous driving tests with his automobiles within the next six months. The Tesla Semi will also include autonomous driving capabilities.

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Good day,

According to a report from Tech Crunch, Elon Musk’s Tesla is preparing to test autonomous driving on a cross-country trip within 3 to 6 months.

Tech Crunch reported that Musk told analysts on an earnings call that Tesla would “probably…do a coast-to do a coast-to-coast drive in three months, six months at the outside.”

Tesla’s autonomous drive feature on its cars came under scrutiny in 2016 following a high-profile crash where authorities alleged the driver was using the technology. The company said the technology was installed in its cars, but not widely active. The new Tesla Semi is also being developed with autonomous driving capabilities.

Many trucking manufacturers are working on developing autonomous technologies, although experts believe it is still many years away from reality. Embark, though, a startup company working on autonomous technologies, recently completed a cross-country test of its tractor-trailer, saying that the majority of the time the vehicle was in autonomous mode.

Did you know?

An Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association ELD exemption request asking FMCSA to suspend the regulation for 5 years for small carriers who have no history of incidents has drawn more than 4,000 signatures, many in support.

Quotable:

“This is a positive step toward moving legislation forward that will finally address the pension crisis. This committee must put aside partisan politics and advance legislation as quickly as possible that provides a real solution to this crisis.”

- Jim Hoffa, Teamsters general president

In other news:

Budget deal includes infrastructure money

The bipartisan budget deal reached Wednesday in Congress includes $20 billion dedicated to infrastructure improvements. (Wall Street Journal)

Freight forwarder joins IBM-Maersk blockchain venture

Freight forwarder Agility announced it has joined the IBM-Maersk blockchain joint venture to improve the shipment of cargo. (Port Technology)

West Coast port passes clean truck plan

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, which oversees the ports of Tacoma and Seattle, has passed a clean trucks program but provided a little flexibility for drivers, who protested the plan. (American Shipper)

OOIDA ELD exemption request draws strong support

An ELD exemption request filed by OOIDA on behalf of small companies has drawn over 4,000 comments, many in support. (Transport Topics)

Teamsters applaud agreement on pension vote

The Teamsters are supporting an agreement in Congress to vote on a solution to a pension funding crisis that is threatening the retirements of millions of Americans, including many Teamster members. (Teamsters)

Final Thoughts

The bipartisan budget deal reached by Senate negotiators Wednesday with passage expected today includes $20B designated for infrastructure. It’s a small drop in the bucket as to what is needed to repair the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges, but every little bit helps. Trump is expected to unveil is larger, $1.5T plan on Monday.

Hammer down everyone!

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