Self Driving Trucks coming Dallas to Houston

Article mentions–

Pittsburgh-based Aurora Innovation Nasd ticker AUR. No earnings. Has website:
Gatik Has website: Testing autonomous box trucks for Tysons in Northwest Arkansas
Kodiak Robotics Readying self driving truck trial Dallas to Houston


UPS has been using self-driving tractor trailers between Arizona and Texas for a while.



Well well well, It looks like some lawyers haven’t received the Memo. :joy: :joy:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, both part of the federal Department of Transportation, lack authority to stop autonomous vehicles from going on the roads. If something goes wrong, though, they can require recalls or order trucks out of service.



My cousin’s husband (they live in TX) retired from UPS some years ago as an OTR driver. Good timing, I would say…

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That’s absolutely correct. Operation of vehicles is regulated by the states, not the feds. As long as the trucks have all the equipment installed that’s required by the federal safety standards, the feds have no jurisdiction over whether they are operated with or without drivers.


Well you should have said that before instead of arguing the other side. It seems convenient to forget what you said so let me remind you.

[quote=“buynholdisdead, post:71, topic:104380, full:true”]

It really doesn’t matter how many states. What you are missing is that it is allowed in any state. That gives them a place to run them and then proceed forward. We are coming at this problem from two different viewpoints. You think everything has to be done all at once at the federal level in order to proceed. What I am trying to show you, and I have, that the states can do this without the federal ok. But until one is on the streets you are not going to believe it, I am fine with that, although I disagree. With 1 state, 2 states, 3 states, the writing is on the wall.


Texas and California have no jurisdiction over whether a car has a steering wheel or not. The federal government has sole jurisdiction over regulating the physical characteristics of a car. They have completely pre-empted the states in that area. Texas and California can regulate how the car is operated - whether there’s a driver behind the wheel - but not whether a carmaker is allowed to manufacture a vehicle for use on the public roads that doesn’t meet the federal motor vehicle safety standards.

I think the same argument was put forth on Marijuana companies but here we are. It’s not unusual for states to allow things to happen that the Federal government is against.


It’s weird, then, that GM has filed a formal petition requesting an exception from the rules that you say have been changed to allow a car without a steering wheel. You’d think they wouldn’t do that - much less get into a legal fight with the Teamsters union - if it was irrelevant.


Not really, the old, staid companies are no longer driving this. It is perfectly logical for GM to take that route, they can’t think of any other way around it. As far as the Teamsters are concerned, they are a union entity and the unions are embedded into GM and so they have to console them. Something Tesla doesn’t have to worry about, at least yet. As you have shown with UBER, who found ways around one of the most regulated industries, there are always ways to move forward. Tesla will find them and might be one of the reasons Tesla is in Texas and California.


I think the same argument was put forth on Marijuana companies but here we are. It’s not unusual for states to allow things to happen that the Federal government is against.

But only if the federal government declines to enforce the federal prohibition.

Is that what you think is going to happen? That the NHTSA - which is currently all over Tesla in their Autopilot investigations - is just going to ignore Tesla manufacturing vehicles that violate the FMVSS?

You can find that all in our past conversation. Which was only a week ago.


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Did you not understand any of that prior conversation? The federal government regulates the physical car itself. States regulate the operation of the vehicle. It was a discussion about whether Tesla could manufacture a car with no driver controls, not whether states can allow cars that are built with driver controls to be operated without a driver.

You’ll notice that the trucks in the video all have steering wheels…

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Did you not understand anything I put on that text? I said this would happen in the states first and it did. The steering wheel is irrelevant, nobody cares about it they care about the driverless vehicle.


You don’t care about the steering wheel. The car manufacturers do. That was the entire point of that other thread…which I’m beginning to think I did a poor job in explaining, since you seem to have missed it entirely. So, in a nutshell:

  1. The federal government sets the standards for what the vehicle has to have.
  2. The states set the standards for how the vehicle is operated.
  3. That’s why (as noted repeatedly in the other thread) you can already take autonomous rides in places like SF. The cars are built to meet the physical requirements of federal regs, but they are operated autonomously.
  4. Musk has stated that Tesla will unveil a “robotaxi” on August 8.
  5. That announcement is very confusing. Tesla isn’t anywhere close to obtaining regulatory approval for a vehicle that doesn’t have manual driver controls. But Musk has repeatedly stated that he doesn’t want to build a robotaxi that has driver controls, because they’re pointless in a robotaxi.
  6. Hence, the discussion in the other thread.

The states can’t lead the way here. The feds get to dictate what equipment is installed in motor vehicles. States can’t exempt an automaker from required equipment - they just set the rules on operations. Unlike marijuana, where the federal government lacks the ability to effectively prohibit marijuana without considerable state enforcement authority, it is trivially easy for the feds to prevent a major automaker like Tesla from manufacturing vehicles that don’t meet the requirements.

It doesn’t matter how many times you explain it, he will not understand.

The rest of us get it.

You can’t make a car to put on the roads in the US that doesn’t have human operated controls: steering wheel, etc. (Well you can, but it can’t be legally driven)

You can have self-driving cars, depending on the state and local jurisdiction, but only if they follow rules set up by the Feds for what equipment is included, which means: steering wheel, among other things.

I think the rest of us got it about 20 posts ago.


Nobody cares about the steering wheel. Everyone would put a steering wheel on every inch of the vehicle if they could get to autonomous driving. That is the goal. Autonomous nothing else matters.


I think I now see why you were so adamant in the other thread.

I wasn’t talking about the general concept of autonomy. I was talking about Tesla’s plans to make a bespoke robotaxi - a physical vehicle that would be purpose built to operate autonomously. Musk has repeatedly stated that he would not build a robotaxi that just had rudimentary driver controls that could be removed later for conversion to a driverless vehicle. They would need federal regulatory approval to build a robotaxi vehicle that didn’t have them.

Musk says a lot of things but in the end will comply with whatever regulations he needs to, to get to the end goal.

But that is funny, and I do mean I had to laugh, that you thought I was hung up on a steering wheel or break pedal or any inanimate object, when getting to autonomous is such a huge goal.


That’s why I couldn’t understand why you kept arguing about it.

I mean, I kept mentioning over and over again in the thread that you could already take robotaxi rides in lots of cities. I was pretty clear that I wasn’t debating whether the autonomous use could be permitted by states. That it was the vehicle, not the autonomous use, that was the federal regulatory problem with what Musk had announced.

You can’t make a purpose-built robotaxi lacking driver controls without meeting the federal regulations…so what on earth are they announcing on 8/8 that could be built anytime within the next several years?


No you were hung up on GM asking for a car without a wheel when the government already said you could have one. But you specifically asked then why was GM mentioning that.

That is your opinion but has no bearing on what the laws are.

Anyways I am not going back into that discussion, just like any useless appendage the wheel and brake will eventually fall off.