Tesla semi truck to test self-driving, capable of 'platooning'

Posted August 12, 2017

The long haul electric truck is said to feature platooning technology as well as self-driving technology, according to a Reuters report. Reuters revealed the information after viewing an email exchange between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, first announced his intentions to produce a heavy-duty electric truck past year and tweeted in April that the semi-truck would be unveiled in September 2017.

"To insure we are on the same page, our primary goal is the ability to operate our prototype test trucks in a continuous manner across the state line and within the States of Nevada and California in a platooning and/or Autonomous mode without having a person in the vehicle", Tesla regulatory official Nasser Zamani wrote to Nevada DMV official April Sanborn.

Tesla has been working on its autonomous driving software for years, and recently the company jumped into building its own hardware, too, after a public spat with sensor maker Mobileye. He made no reference to any dates for potential road tests.

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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.

An official from a state authority of Nevada has confirmed that Tesla has not yet been granted a license for testing its upcoming truck automation technology. 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.

With Tesla, there's always something new coming up to keep owners, buyers, and fans excited.

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Tesla isn't alone in the pursuit of platooning technology, however. They declined to comment further.

"Autonomous vehicles would hurt us if they spread to trucks", Buffett told shareholders at Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) annual meeting in May.

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

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