Tesla looks to test Semi on U.S. roads

Violet Tucker
August 12, 2017

The electric-semi truck from Tesla will reportedly be capable of "platooning", and the Silicon Valley automaker wants to test the technology in the state of Nevada.

Reuters gained access to an email discussion between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about road testing of the trucks.

DHL, for example, already uses an entirely hybrid-electric trucking fleet in Manhattan, and plans to be fully electric in the next 30 years, while Google's parent Alphabet and Uber Technologies are pursuing self-driving trucks.

Tesla has been a leader in developing self-driving technology for its luxury cars, including the lower-priced Model 3, which it is beginning to manufacture. There are now millions of truck drivers in the U.S. and, as reported by The Guardian, there is a "strong undercurrent of denial" that automation and autonomous vehicles will replace any jobs. 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.

The email exchange shows that the auto company is putting self-driving technology into an electric truck, which it plans to unveil in September 2017. No particular date was mentioned, however, as to when this road testing would be. Peloton considers platooning as an important precursor to autonomy when it comes to long-haul driverless trucks, in order to increase safety and efficiency. Ars has reached out to Tesla for comment and we'll update if we receive a response.

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Reuters reports that Tesla is now developing self-driving technology for semi-trucks and that once the tech is ready Tesla wants to test it in Nevada.

Nevada officials confirmed the meeting with Tesla had occurred and said that Tesla had not applied for a license so far.

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.

We applaud Tesla's self-driving efforts and look forward to seeing the semi in the flesh later this year. Such trucks would require huge batteries, he said, so the "cargo essentially becomes the battery".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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