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EV/AV Report: Robo-trucks, EV reliability and workforce reductions

Toronto, Ontario — In today’s EV/AV report, a Toronto autonomous driving startup announces its autonomous trucking software, a report on electric vehicle (EV) reliability and Ford’s CEO claims that EVs require only 60 percent of the labour of a fossil-powered car. This is the latest in electric and autonomous vehicles.

Expansion Pack
Waabi has launched a plug-and-play solution they say will revolutionize the autonomous vehicle (AV) and shipping world—Waabi Driver, a complete package designed to transform any truck into a fully functional AV.

Part of this all-in-one deployment comes from the company’s decision to conduct AV testing via machine-learning in a virtual environment, allowing more tests per dollar and hour compared to real-world testing.

While the company has yet to announce who its exact OEM partners will be, Loblaws partnered with Gatik in October to deploy a fleet of Level 4 autonomous trucks which are currently undergoing testing in the Greater Toronto Area.

For a breakdown on how Waabi conducts its self-learning simulations, click here.

Read the Fine Print
Consumer Reports rankings released on Tuesday indicate that EVs rank among the least reliable cars and trucks today—but there’s more than meets the eye to this unimpressive ranking.

In an interview with CNBC, Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports explained that this ranking stems from a compilation of several factors that are entirely unrelated to the vehicle’s powertrain.

While these rankings undeniably include functional elements such as steering and suspension, auxiliary features like falcon-wing doors, touchscreens, air-conditioning and heating systems also play into the unreliable rating attained.

Consumer Reports did not rate the reliability of driver assistance systems such as Tesla’s Autopilot in its analysis.

Future Tech
In a bold statement from the Ford CEO, Jim Farley told the automotive industry that electric cars require 40 percent less labour than the same number of vehicles with internal-combustion engines.

This stems from the platform’s primary advantage—simplicity. Fewer engine components means fewer parts requiring production and maintenance, ultimately reducing manufacturing and aftercare costs.

At the same time, this potentially means fewer people are needed to assemble and maintain each vehicle. Ford laid off 3,000 workers in August, citing a shifting focus towards EVs.

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