Tesla eyes autonomous big rig testing in Nevada

Tammy Harvey
August 12, 2017

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 is already in talks with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles according to an email discussion that the publication has seen.

Through an exclusive Reuters report, we received confirmation that Tesla is indeed working on a self-driving semi-truck that will debut in late 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.

It's a sure bet then, that Tesla's plans to automate its upcoming electric truck may come to fruition sooner than we thought possible.

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


Tesla has been a leader in developing self-driving technology for its luxury cars, including the lower-priced Model 3, which it is beginning to manufacture.

The correspondence and meeting show that Tesla is putting self-driving technology into the electric truck it has said it plans to unveil in September, and is advancing toward real-life tests, potentially moving it forward in a highly competitive area of commercial transport also being pursued by Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] and Alphabet Inc's Waymo. Besides producing a video showing an Otto truck driving down a road without any safety personnel in the front seat, the company also executed the drive without the appropriate autonomous testing permit.

The company's main task over the next year is to get its lower-priced Model 3 electric auto into volume assembly at high quality, a process CEO Elon Musk has called "production hell".

Peloton Technology is working with Volvo on a similar platooning system to Tesla's trucks. "And if you had a tug-of-war competition, the Tesla Semi will tug the diesel semi uphill". They declined to comment further.

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

The new electric truck in question here is believed to be able to travel in "platoons" - which means autonomously following the path of a leading vehicle.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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