12 August, 2017
On Wednesday, Reuters published an email between a Tesla official and the Nevada DMV revealing that the electric vehicle company is applying for licenses to test its trucks' self-driving and platooning capabilities across the border shared by the two states. The vehicle will also be able to move in a "platoon" fashion - a driving formation where trucks follow one another closely.
While neither Tesla nor Elon Musk has mentioned autonomy in relation to their electric transport truck plans, the automaker's CEO has discussed potential surprises to be revealed alongside the big rig this fall.
The Californian company was exchanging emails with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to get approval of tests on public roads for two truck prototypes that will drive in Nevada and California.
The commitment was also made clear and repeated during the company's annual shareholder meeting in June. Tesla plans to reveal the electric-semi truck next month.
They are now in talks with the California Highway Patrol on creating regulations that would cover test driving vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds, since it is not allowed yet.
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Musk begs to differ on the matter, saying that truck drivers would still be needed, and that Tesla aims for the truck to be fun to operate which may indicate that maybe, the semi vehicle will not be entirely autonomous.
Tesla is apparently developing both a self-driving mode, as well as a platooning mode. Daimler, Volvo, and other semi-truck makers have invested in the technology and carried out demonstrations on highways.
Earlier this year at a TED interview, Musk described driving the company's semi-truck prototype.
We applaud Tesla's self-driving efforts and look forward to seeing the semi in the flesh later this year.