Even though Tesla’s brand new Roadster stole the show at Tesla’s special event last week, the company’s brand new semi-truck is intriguing in its own right. Sporting a sleek new design and outfitted with many of Tesla’s more advanced technologies, the Tesla Semi, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, will truly revolutionize trucking.
Tesla’s new semi-truck looks particularly sleek and the savings it offers up are reportedly enticing enough that Tesla is already fielding purchase orders from top-tier companies. Still, there are some interesting issues that the Tesla Semi design raises, and it’s perhaps possible that the final design we’ll see in a few years will look noticeably different from the prototypes we saw last week.
To this point, an ex-trucker named Jonathon Ramsey recently posted a series of interesting questions and concerns surrounding the Tesla Semi for Autoblog. Far from a hit-piece, the issues Ramsey raises are certainly thought provoking as they provide us with a take on the Tesla Semi from the vantage point of an actual trucker as opposed to outside observers.
For instance, the central seating position of the Tesla Semi driver’s seat caught Ramsey’s attention.
I only have space here to address a few issues, so we’ll start with the central seating position. I don’t see how that helps a trucker. I already get “a commanding view of the road” in a traditional truck because I sit six feet above traffic. What I need is a commanding view of my own truck, which the central seating position compromises. The worst blind spot in a tractor is next to the doors; in the Tesla Semi, I can’t lean over to see if there’s a Toyota Corolla camped out beside me. The central seating position hampers my commanding view when I need that view most: when I back up. For any backing maneuver, I watch both sides of the trailer in my mirrors to make sure I don’t clobber anything, or I lean out of the truck to watch the trailer as I back. Being able to physically watch the trailer – not camera images on screens – can be the difference between making a clean back-up or making an insurance claim.
Ramsey’s full list of concerns can be viewed over here, and again, it provides an interesting perspective on many Tesla Semi features that may not be as helpful as they initially seem.