Reuters reportedly found an email that contained a discussion between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles where the discussion focused on testing the semi in the state. The information also apparently describes Tesla’s desire to create long-haul electric semis that can drive themselves in “platoons“, potentially following behind a lead truck piloted by a human driver.
The electric truck model is set for release in September, according to Tweets from Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
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 not the first to explore self-driving or fully electric trucks, but the automaker may have a competitive edge in the freight industry by developing trucks that are both autonomous and electric.
Tesla has been a leader in developing self-driving technology for its luxury cars, and is about to start manufacturing the lower-priced Model 3 auto. The semi trucks eventually would follow each other, with a truck in front like a mother duck and her ducklings.
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.
Reuters reports that Tesla met with the California DMV on Wednesday and has already met with the Nevada DMV. From that it was obvious to us that the technology would be applied to the upcoming Tesla semi truck. So far, no companies have tested self-driving trucks in Nevada without a person inside.
We applaud Tesla’s self-driving efforts and look forward to seeing the semi in the flesh later this year.