Tesla wants to make its semi truck autonomous, test it in Nevada

12 August, 2017, 00:32 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • Elon Musk

Tesla is working on self-driving electric semi-trucks that can move in "platoons" behind a designated lead vehicle, Reuters reported this week.

Tesla is already in talks with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles according to an email discussion that the publication has seen. CEO and founder Elon Musk confirmed in April this year that an electric truck was indeed in the works, and a working prototype is expected to come out this September.

Nevada DMV spokesperson Jessica Gonzalez told Reuters that Tesla requested for a meeting with California officials on Wednesday "to talk about Tesla's efforts with autonomous trucks", as well as to introduce new staff. No particular date was mentioned, however, as to when this road testing would be.

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Tesla's latest project isn't completely new to the industry, but it does combine autonomy and sustainability - which other companies, so far, have pursued separately - and that may give Tesla a leg up in the brewing competition.

At the moment no company was tested in the Nevada self-driving trucks without being in the driver's cab.

The Nevada approach makes sense as the state has form in the area, with Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) testing an autonomous Freightliner Cascadia, dubbed the Inspiration, in the state to much fanfare in 2015. Then, on July 10, Zamani asked the DMV for testing license terms. Last October, the Silicon Valley startup Otto used an autonomous truck to ship beer in Colorado.

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Musk has said that potential customers are eager to get a Tesla electric long-haul truck, but he faces doubt that the company can deliver.

We applaud Tesla's self-driving efforts and look forward to seeing the semi in the flesh later this year.

Platooning, meanwhile, is seen as a way to reduce fuel consumption significantly among trucks with internal combustion engines (which, of course, the Tesla semi would not have). They declined to comment further. It has only now been stated however, that the vehicle will be self-driving.

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