Aug 10, 2017

Musk's strategy may be self-driving, electric semi-truck caravans

Richard Drew / AP

Tesla has asked state government permission to test-drive a caravan of electric, autonomously driven semi-trucks in Nevada, per Reuters' Marc Vartabedian.

CEO Elon Musk had already said he would unveil an electric semi-truck in September, and the new details help to fill in his possible thinking about the economics for a vehicle that would require a colossal battery: Researchers consulted by Axios in April estimated that the battery for a semi-truck would weigh three tons and cost about $70,000.

That could be prohibitive when you add in the pricetag for the semi-truck itself (the estimated cost for first-generation self-driving cars is about $300,000, so a truck would be much more), but a truck fleet company would be able to more easily absorb the expense if drivers were not necessary.

What it means: Since autonomous technology is not yet ready, and may not be until the 2030s, Tesla's idea may be to have a human-driven truck as the lead vehicle, and a caravan of semis behind, each programmed simply to follow the one in front of it, with no humans inside.

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In photos: George Floyd's North Carolina memorial service

The remains of George Floyd are brought into Cape Fear Conference B Church. Photo: Ed Clemente/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds gathered in Raeford, North Carolina to honor George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis nearly two weeks ago has sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.

The state of play: This is the second memorial for Floyd. A number of his family members remain in Raeford, including his sister. He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, The News and Observer reports.

Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 6,800,604 — Total deaths: 396,591 — Total recoveries — 2,785,268Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,908,235 — Total deaths: 109,443 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight coronavirus Fauci: "Very concerned" about spread of virus amid George Floyd protests — Cities offer free testing for protesters.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model as use of robots accelerates.
  5. Business: Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

George Floyd updates

A protester holds a placard reading "Covid kills People, Racism kills Communities" as they attend a demonstration in Manchester, northern England, on June 6, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Paul Ellis/Contributor.

Thousands are gathering for a day of protests in Washington, D.C., almost two weeks after George Floyd's killing. Protesters in Australia and Europe staged anti-racism demonstrations on Saturday as well.

What's happening: A memorial service for Floyd is taking place in Raeford, North Carolina — near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor Floyd until sunset. Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Philadelphia and Chicago.