In the little over a month since Tesla’s new electric and semi-autonomous Semi truck reveal, the company’s seen a lot of significant pre-orders from major brand names.
Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser Beer, says it reserved 40 big rigs; PepsiCo put down deposits for 100 and, in the largest reported pre-order to date, UPS pre-ordered 125 Semi trucks.
Canadian companies are also jumping at the opportunity to pre-order these trucks, which hold the promise of eventually being fully autonomous. Walmart Canada, Loblaws and Fortigo Freight, an Etobicoke-based trucking company, have all pre-ordered units.
Fortigo Freight pre-ordered one Tesla Semi truck with a down payment of $26,000 CAD, the company told Automotive News. It says the remaining balance is under $181,000 USD.
The company’s president, Elias Demangos, says his company will run a pilot program with the big rig. He also told CBC News that he doesn’t expect widespread adoption of autonomous trucking within the next decade, noting that drivers will still be needed, particularly for short-haul trucking.
It’s been a big year for autonomous driving in Canada, with the first street test of an autonomous vehicle and driverless truck trials by Suncor Energy in Alberta.
In order to prepare for the autonomous future of trucking, Transport Minister Marc Garneau has asked a standing senate committee on transport and communications to study regulatory and technical issues related to the deployment of automated commercial vehicles.
Source: CBC News, Automotive News