Tesla To Develop Self-Driving Semi-Truck, Will Test In California & Nevada

Geronimo Vena
Agosto 11, 2017

The tech would allow the transport trucks to move in convoy formation with a lead vehicle providing guidance for autonomous follow trucks, according to emails discovered by Reuters in which Tesla discusses the work with the Nevada DMV.

Additionally, a California DMV spokeswoman told Reuters that the state's officials were to meet with Tesla on Wednesday to discuss autonomous trucks. It was reported a few months ago, but now the information appeared, these machines are developed as soon as able to move not just Autonomous, but also in the columns of the leading auto.

The latest report shows that Tesla is ratcheting up efforts in the long-haul trucking industry, which is considered a prime contender for autonomous vehicle technology. Charges had been made in the suit against Uber, claiming that Waymo technology had been stolen and used in the Otto self-driving semi-truck that Uber had acquired.

"Platooning has the potential to significantly reduce the running costs for truck operators and is an easier bridge to a practical, commercial semi-autonomous application in the early 2020s", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said Thursday in a note to investors. The advantages of platooning is that it's theoretically safer-if the lead truck slows down, the rest automatically follow.

The industry is seen as lucrative, due to the relatively consistent speeds and little cross-traffic that trucks face on highways.

Self-driving cars, though, have been tested on California roads. The company also reportedly plans to test the trucks in a platooning manner, which refers to a strategy of ensuring the trucks travel closely together. Tesla seems to be passing through scrutiny over the safety of using Autopilot since last year's fatal crash in Florida.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk put out a few teasers in the spring, but had not mentioned the truck was going to be autonomous.

Tesla declined to comment.

Lithium ion battery researcher Venkat Viswanathan of Carnegie Mellon University said electric long-haul trucking is not economically feasible yet.

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