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Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

If the discussion is about the likes of Tu Simple for autonomous trucking, all of their routes are in the US south. Relatively flat and warm temperatures for the most part. I await a trial in an Ontario/Quebec winter let alone through northern Ontario or the Coquihalla in BC. I'm also not sure if they have advanced to regular commercial runs without a monitoring driver.

Another problem I foresee for them is a Chinese tech company being a significant investor. I see complaints about strategic cyber security.
This is like claiming cars will never take off until there is a car capable of traversing the Amazon rainforest in under 24 h. Sure, maybe 1-2% of the addressable market will be really difficult to serve with autonomy. Fact is, most truck traffic is shuttling around locally in the populated parts of the continent, and not in northern Quebec.

TuSimple is just one player. Alphabet's Waymo is also working on applying their technology to highway trucking. Folks, this is a multi-hundred billion dollar market. It's not going to be left alone because of weak objections like this.



Cision PR Newswire​

TuSimple Trucks Cruise Past the 10 Million Mile Mark​

NEWS PROVIDED BY
TuSimple Holdings, Inc.
Mar 16, 2023, 9:00 AM ET
  • TuSimple trucks have recorded more than 10 million cumulative miles through testing, research and freight delivery
  • This latest milestone is one of many industry firsts for the autonomous driving technology company
  • TuSimple has recorded only one at-fault incident in its 10 million miles, which is below the average yearly accidents for a traditional truck fleet according to a 2022 Fleet Safety Study
SAN DIEGO, March 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- TuSimple (Nasdaq:TSP), a global autonomous driving technology company, announced today its trucks have driven more than 10 million cumulative miles through testing, research and freight delivery.

"This is an incredible achievement and one that we do not take lightly," said Cheng Lu, President and CEO of TuSimple. "It's an opportunity for us to look back on everything we have achieved as a company and a reminder of what is still to come as TuSimple continues to innovate and re-imagine the future of the autonomous commercial trucking industry."
This latest milestone is among several others recorded by the company since its creation in 2015.
  • Becoming the first company to demonstrate an autonomous semi truck's capabilities on surface streets and highways with its 1,000-meter perception breakthrough in 2018.
  • Launching the Autonomous Freight Network in 2020
  • Establishing itself as the first autonomous vehicle company to go public with a traditional IPO in 2021
  • Becoming the first company to successfully demonstrate the ability to fully remove the driver from its trucks and navigate 80 miles, traveling on surface streets and highways, naturally interacting with other motorists in December 2021
  • Recording a "first" for Europe late last year when its technology enabled commercial goods to be transported approximately 300 kilometers in regular traffic conditions using its autonomous driving system.
Cheng adds, "This is an important moment for TuSimple and its employees and an opportunity to celebrate our achievements. While we have a lot to be proud of, we're always focused on what comes next. TuSimple is excited to continue hitting even more milestones through the advancement of our autonomous driving technology."
 
TuSimple is just one player. Alphabet's Waymo is also working on applying their technology to highway trucking. Folks, this is a multi-hundred billion dollar market. It's not going to be left alone because of weak objections like this.

Waymo's largest barrier to automated long-distance trucking is more on the legal side than software side at this point.

For example, the requirement to immediately deploy reflective triangles and flares within 10 minutes of pulling over to the side of the road. That's incredibly difficult without a driver.

Weigh station procedures (paperwork, signatures, and giving the truck direction on where to park) are another item to tackle.
 
TuSimple has operated 10 million highway miles of driverless operation across the southern US. CN is a partner.

TuSimple has operated autonomously with a driver present to take over. They have also shifted to focus on Level 2 tech vs Level 4 tech since it's harder then they thought (who could have predicted that).

The only real barrier to adoption in Canada is inclement weather, which is quite solvable.


I don't know if I even need to dignify this with a response. "quite solvable" is doing a lot of heavy lifting. It is theoretically solvable, but also extremally difficult to do so, since there are a lot of variables at play.

We already have the infrastructure to recharge electric trucks. It's called the electric grid. We just need to tap into it with charging stations. It's actually much easier to handle truck charging, as you only need it along very specific highway routes to be useful, whereas car drivers expect to be able to drive anywhere. Tesla's Semi has a range of 500 mi. Even if you placed stations 250 mi apart, you would only need ~10 charging stations between Toronto and Calgary, and they can be dropped anywhere it is convenient to access or drop a substation. I'm amused you think this is difficult when Tesla can built a 5 million sqft factory in 9 months.

Yes, we have the grid, but, the infrastructure in Northern Ontario through which the route travels is not nearly as built up. Furthermore, during winter, the range on electric vehicles is reduced quite a bit. It's also reduced dramatically by wind and elevation changes. You would need stations much closer together, realistically, at least every 50mi to make sure a truck was not in danger of being stranded due to changing weather patterns, or a backup / shutdown of another charger on the route. Doable, sure, but it wouldn't be a small investment, especially due to the significant increase in power requirements you need for truck charging vs car charging.
 
TuSimple has operated 10 million highway miles of driverless operation across the southern US. CN is a partner. The only real barrier to adoption in Canada is inclement weather, which is quite solvable.


We already have the infrastructure to recharge electric trucks. It's called the electric grid. We just need to tap into it with charging stations. It's actually much easier to handle truck charging, as you only need it along very specific highway routes to be useful, whereas car drivers expect to be able to drive anywhere. Tesla's Semi has a range of 500 mi. Even if you placed stations 250 mi apart, you would only need ~10 charging stations between Toronto and Calgary, and they can be dropped anywhere it is convenient to access or drop a substation. I'm amused you think this is difficult when Tesla can built a 5 million sqft factory in 9 months.

This is like claiming cars will never take off until there is a car capable of traversing the Amazon rainforest in under 24 h. Sure, maybe 1-2% of the addressable market will be really difficult to serve with autonomy. Fact is, most truck traffic is shuttling around locally in the populated parts of the continent, and not in northern Quebec.

TuSimple is just one player. Alphabet's Waymo is also working on applying their technology to highway trucking. Folks, this is a multi-hundred billion dollar market. It's not going to be left alone because of weak objections like this.



Cision PR Newswire​

TuSimple Trucks Cruise Past the 10 Million Mile Mark​

NEWS PROVIDED BY
TuSimple Holdings, Inc.
Mar 16, 2023, 9:00 AM ET
  • TuSimple trucks have recorded more than 10 million cumulative miles through testing, research and freight delivery
  • This latest milestone is one of many industry firsts for the autonomous driving technology company
  • TuSimple has recorded only one at-fault incident in its 10 million miles, which is below the average yearly accidents for a traditional truck fleet according to a 2022 Fleet Safety Study
SAN DIEGO, March 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- TuSimple (Nasdaq:TSP), a global autonomous driving technology company, announced today its trucks have driven more than 10 million cumulative miles through testing, research and freight delivery.

"This is an incredible achievement and one that we do not take lightly," said Cheng Lu, President and CEO of TuSimple. "It's an opportunity for us to look back on everything we have achieved as a company and a reminder of what is still to come as TuSimple continues to innovate and re-imagine the future of the autonomous commercial trucking industry."
This latest milestone is among several others recorded by the company since its creation in 2015.
  • Becoming the first company to demonstrate an autonomous semi truck's capabilities on surface streets and highways with its 1,000-meter perception breakthrough in 2018.
  • Launching the Autonomous Freight Network in 2020
  • Establishing itself as the first autonomous vehicle company to go public with a traditional IPO in 2021
  • Becoming the first company to successfully demonstrate the ability to fully remove the driver from its trucks and navigate 80 miles, traveling on surface streets and highways, naturally interacting with other motorists in December 2021
  • Recording a "first" for Europe late last year when its technology enabled commercial goods to be transported approximately 300 kilometers in regular traffic conditions using its autonomous driving system.
Cheng adds, "This is an important moment for TuSimple and its employees and an opportunity to celebrate our achievements. While we have a lot to be proud of, we're always focused on what comes next. TuSimple is excited to continue hitting even more milestones through the advancement of our autonomous driving technology."
Well, I suppose history will prove one of us right. I find it interesting that some observers, most of which aren't trying to promote a product or service, maintain that autonomy is still decades away. As well, I'm not convinced adverse or complex weather and road conditions are as easily solved as you.

As for range, manufacturer claims always need to be taken with a grain of salt, regardless of power source. The operating profile (grades, temperature, etc.) can have a major impact. The Tu Simple website focuses on their autonomy technology and I could not find what power source their trucks use. They used to have partnership with Navistar which apparently ended last year. I'm not sure if anybody has an electric truck (industry Class 8) in production.

I do agree that the most likely early (however defined) application of autonomous heavy vehicles is a fixed route shuttle.
 
This is like claiming cars will never take off until there is a car capable of traversing the Amazon rainforest in under 24 h. Sure, maybe 1-2% of the addressable market will be really difficult to serve with autonomy. Fact is, most truck traffic is shuttling around locally in the populated parts of the continent, and not in northern Quebec.

TuSimple is just one player. Alphabet's Waymo is also working on applying their technology to highway trucking. Folks, this is a multi-hundred billion dollar market. It's not going to be left alone because of weak objections like this.

Yes, of course, we'll eventually get there. But a lot of people are thinking this is going to happen in the immediate future, like, in the next few years, and that is absolutely not going to happen. This is a solution in a few decades, not a few years.
 
Yes, of course, we'll eventually get there. But a lot of people are thinking this is going to happen in the immediate future, like, in the next few years, and that is absolutely not going to happen. This is a solution in a few decades, not a few years.
AI is advancing much faster than most people appreciate. It was previously widely agreed that Go would not be amenable to AI for many years due to the much higher branching factor than chess, but it fell much more quickly the most expected. Perhaps it may take 20 years, but I would consider that very pessimistic (cast your mind back to the state of technology in 2003). It's absurd that infrastructure investments being made today do not consider the impacts of autonomy. At least we are slowly making progress om eliminating parking minimums.
 
It was previously widely agreed that Go would not be amenable to AI for many years due to the much higher branching factor than chess, but it fell much more quickly the most expected.
An explanation of this would be appreciated.

It's absurd that infrastructure investments being made today do not consider the impacts of autonomy
What exactly would that look like?
 
An explanation of this would be appreciated.
A decent summary in the history section of this wiki entry.

What exactly would that look like?
Not building massive parking garages at GO stations, for one. Some visioning to how robotaxis could interface with the city and transit stations (PPUDO). Potential to reduce the size of design vehicles as autonomy reduces the impetus for large vehicles to economize on driver labour. I'm not a civil engineer, but I am concerned when I see little/no discussion to how autonomy may impact the use of 30-50 year infrastructure investments.

The vision thing is sorely lacking.
 
Not building massive parking garages at GO stations, for one. Some visioning to how robotaxis could interface with the city and transit stations (PPUDO). Potential to reduce the size of design vehicles as autonomy reduces the impetus for large vehicles to economize on driver labour. I'm not a civil engineer, but I am concerned when I see little/no discussion to how autonomy may impact the use of 30-50 year infrastructure investments.

The vision thing is sorely lacking.
The challenge of 'visioning' with public money is building for a unknown or at least vague future by ignoring the realities of today. The widespread adoption of autonomy is far from settled. If we believed a lot of the futurist hype back in '50s, we'd all be in flying cars now. If someone is absolutely convinced that a fridge-sized nuclear reactor is 'just around the corner' to provide all of their houses needs, do they ignore the fact that their furnace just sighed its last breath now?

I await to see private money buying up land on the outskirts of cities and along main routes for their terminals and charging yards.

Quite frankly, I see a lot of buzz words and word salad in discussions of this type.
 
There's a balance to be struck. You still see EAs or BCs that assume buses will be diesel powered in perpetuity. It will probably be this way until diesel buses are discontinued and we've had electric buses for 30 years.
 
Maybe to bring the discussion back on topic, any thoughts what highway "infrastructure " might be announced in today's provincial budget? Early reports say infrastructure will be focus of the budget.
 
Maybe to bring the discussion back on topic, any thoughts what highway "infrastructure " might be announced in today's provincial budget? Early reports say infrastructure will be focus of the budget.
I thought we weren't to speculate about the future in this thread? ;)
 
The budget document itself typically doesn’t go into too much detail, usually highlighting already committed projects, maybe one or two new ones. It’s not typically a comprehensive list.

What we should look for is an update to the highways program website in the near future which will have an updated list of financed projects. We may see some press conferences in the next few weeks announcing each one in advance of the update.
 

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