Tesla Wants To Test Autonomous Semi Without A Human Driver

Amber Heard and Elon Musk address split together

The idea of "platooning" suggests that Tesla's autonomous driving tech will allow the vehicles to move in a convoy formation, with one vehicle leading a fleet of autonomous trucks.

"An email exchange in May and June between Tesla and Nevada DMV representatives included an agenda for a June 16 meeting, along with the Nevada Department of Transportation, to discuss testing of two prototype trucks in Nevada, according to the exchange seen by Reuters".

CEO Elon Musk revealed during Tesla's 2017 Shareholder meeting that the company has been meeting with several heavy-duty trucking companies on development of a Tesla Semi prototype that can be driven like a "sports car".

The report by Reuters comes ahead of September's Tesla Semi truck unveiling. He tweeted in April that it would be revealed in September. It has only now been stated however, that the vehicle will be self-driving.

Reuters also reported that California DMV officials will meet with Tesla this week "to talk about Tesla's efforts with autonomous trucks". And Tesla, like other tech giants and automakers, has been racing to build self-driving cars.

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.

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.

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

The industry is seen as lucrative, due to the relatively consistent speeds and little cross-traffic that trucks face on highways. From that it was obvious to us that the technology would be applied to the upcoming Tesla semi truck.

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