Tesla Wants To Test Autonomous Semi Without A Human Driver

Tesla's teaser image of the semi truck

While Tesla is yet to officially unveil its next-generation electric semi truck, a report in Reuters added a new turn to the already swirling rumors by claiming that the next-generation truck will have self-driving capabilities.

Reuters reported on two emails between Tesla and the Nevada DMV that spoke about this potential vehicle.

Tesla is working on self-driving technology specifically tied to its forthcoming electric semi-truck plans, according to a Reuters report.

Some companies also are working on technology for "platooning", a driving formation where trucks follow one another closely.

Tesla has been cramming semi-autonomous technology into its cars for many years now and while the tech has had some issues, it has proven to be one of the most sought after features in Tesla cars.

The fact that Tesla is working on an electric truck is not new.


The auto company is reportedly moving closer to testing a prototype for a long-haul, electric semi-truck that will be able to drive itself and "platoon", or travel closely together with other autonomous vehicles at high speeds. However, it's still unclear whether the lead vehicle would have a driver or operate autonomously with a person in the front seat to monitor safety.

Uber has also moved in a similar direction, acquiring the self-driving truck company Otto previous year.

According to the report, details of which were carried in a number of other news outlets in the USA and internationally, the DMV was asked about platooning tests along with autonomous driving tests of the vehicles involving both the neighbouring states.

The commitment was also made clear and repeated during the company's annual shareholder meeting in June.

Tesla declined to comment on the matter, while Nevada officials confirmed that the company had not yet been given a license for the testing.

"It's going to be a cool product and will defy people's expectations on what an electric truck can do", Tesla CEO Elon Musk told investors in May.

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