Tesla: Self-Driving Semi-Trucks On The Way

Randall Padilla
August 12, 2017

California DMV officials told Reuters they were to meet Tesla yesterday to discuss the company's "efforts with autonomous trucks" as well.

Tesla is apparently developing both a self-driving mode, as well as a platooning mode.

Tesla Inc is developing a long-haul, electric semi-truck that can drive itself and move in "platoons" that automatically follow a lead vehicle, and is getting closer to testing a prototype, according to an email discussion of potential road tests between the auto company and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), seen by Reuters. Industry rumours say that Tesla is already in talks with authorities of the American states of California and Nevada to permit the trials of its new truck on public roads. Its most popular competition comes from Uber and Waymo, Google's former autonomous vehicle development company now under its parent firm Alphabet Inc.

Will Tesla be the first to bring automated trucks to the masses? That might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but work is that Tesla s getting close to testing a prototype of the vehicle.

While Musk has previously stated aims to build an electric truck, Tesla has yet to announce any autonomous driving aims for the vehicles, which are seen as the next evolution of greener and safer road freight. On July 10, Zamani inquired further to the Nevada DMV about terms for a testing license, an email seen by Reuters shows. No particular date was mentioned, however, as to when this road testing would be. Last October, the Silicon Valley startup Otto used an autonomous truck to ship beer in Colorado.

Tesla has yet to comment on their new innovation.

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.

Vehicles that platoon must continually communicate with each other and the infrastructure around them, but the distances between them are far too short to allow a human driver to react in time to emergencies.

"Your cargo essentially becomes the battery", Viswanathan said of the massive batteries that would be needed to make range competitive with diesel.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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