Trucks Stories June 13, 2016

Last month, we reported on a new Salt Lake City-based startup, Nikola Motor, unveiling the design of its first product; an electric truck with a natural gas range extender called ‘Nikola One’. The company attracted a lot of attention for having a name reminiscent of Tesla Motors – both inspired by the physicist Nikola Tesla – but it also unveiled serious ambitions to revolutionize the trucking industry.

The ‘Nikola One’ will be equipped with a massive 320 kWh battery pack and the company hopes that it will be able to travel up to 1,200 miles with the natural gas range extender. Now the company announced that it received over 7,000 pre-orders with deposits for its electric truck since the unveiling of the concept last month. CEO Trevor Milton says that the pre-orders are worth over $2.3 billion. expand full story

Trucks Stories May 17, 2016

Google self-driving pioneers think big-rigs could get there before cars, started company to prove it

Fifteen former Google engineers, including long-time self-driving pioneer Anthony Levandowski, have left the company to create Otto, a start-up based on bringing partial autonomous driving to big-rig trucks.

As the NYT notes, the start-up has great creds: Levandowski designed a self-driving motorcycle while still a grad student, and his first start-up was acquired by Google. Co-founder Lior Ron was previously lead engineer on Google Maps.

Otto’s plan differs from Google’s self-driving car project in two ways …

Trucks Stories February 9, 2016

A new patent that surfaced on Tuesday (via Qz) suggests that Google/Alphabet could have plans to use its self-driving car technologies for a truck-based delivery service. The patent describes an “autonomous delivery platform” for an autonomous truck with lockers (not unlike an Amazon locker), driving to a customer’s location to deliver a package… expand full story

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