Tesla is developing autonomous trucks

Posted August 12, 2017

It isn't putting all its testing eggs in the Nevada basket, and is also reported to be in talks with officials in California that a California DMV spokesperson called Jessica Gonzales told Reuters was "to talk about Tesla's efforts with autonomous trucks".

Peloton Technology is working with Volvo on a similar platooning system to Tesla's trucks.

Luxury electric vehicle maker Tesla reportedly plans to start testing a self-driving semi-truck.

Now some details may have leaked out, in the form of an e-mail conversation between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles seen by the Reuters news service.

The platoon technology described by Tesla would allow its electric-semi truck to engage in a lead-follow scenario.

Tesla already has quite an experience in autonomous vehicle technology - the company's "Autopilot" technology has already been implemented on its Model S and Model X vehicles. The advantages of platooning is that it's theoretically safer-if the lead truck slows down, the rest automatically follow. 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. 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.

Self-driving cars, though, have been tested on California roads. Tesla certainly won't be the last to pursue autonomous tech for commercial purposes. It also offers most of the trucks decreased wind resistance, which could help increase an EV semi's range-a major concern given the weight freight companies load semis with. Ars has reached out to Tesla for comment and we'll update if we receive a response.

Reuters exclusively reported on Wednesday that Tesla is now developing a self-driving semitruck, which the solar and tech company hopes to test out on Nevada roads.

The company's main task over the next year is to get its lower-priced Model 3 electric vehicle into volume assembly at high quality, a process CEO Elon Musk has called "production hell". Such trucks would require huge batteries, he said, so the "cargo essentially becomes the battery".