Tesla To Develop Self-Driving Semi-Truck, Will Test In California & Nevada

The e-mails seemed to indicate that Tesla's semis would "platoon", that is, drive in a formation such that a number of trucks could follow a lead vehicle.

Tesla's plans were made public following an email discussion between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), as seen by Reuters. California DMV spokesperson Jessica Gonzalez also confirmed in the report that the Golden State is also planning on talking with Tesla about its autonomous trucking efforts.

It's no secret that Tesla has plans to build an electric semi-truck: the idea was floating around as early as September 2016.

Self-driving cars, though, have been tested on California roads.

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.


Reuters reports that Tesla is now developing self-driving technology for semi-trucks and that once the tech is ready Tesla wants to test it in Nevada.

The email exchange shows that the auto company is putting self-driving technology into an electric truck, which it plans to unveil in September 2017. Then, on July 10, Zamani asked the DMV for testing license terms.

Tesla declined to comment on the matter, referring Reuters to the previous statements by Musk, who has discussed the truck in tweets and at the annual shareholder meeting. More than a year ago, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment held an autonomous truck platooning demo that involved automakers such as DAF Trucks, Daimler, IVECO, MAN, Scania, and Volvo.

Long-haul trucks do not face cross traffic when they travel on limited-access highways, and they largely operate at steady speeds.

"We were the first state in the nation to adopt regulations authorising the use of autonomous vehicles within state lines", Sandoval said. Tesla offers semi-autonomous features on all of its current models in the form of Autopilot, which costs an additional $5,000 at the time of purchase. Such trucks would require huge batteries, he said, so the "cargo essentially becomes the battery".

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