Tesla autonomous semi-trucks will move in platoons, prototype coming soon

Tesla autonomous semi-trucks will move in platoons, prototype coming soon

Tesla autonomous semi-trucks will move in platoons, prototype coming soon

The information was noted in emails exchanged between the automaker and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about potential road tests, Reuters reported.

After announcing intentions a year ago to produce a heavy-duty electric truck, Musk tweeted in April that the semi-truck would be revealed in September, and repeated that commitment at the company's annual shareholder meeting in June, but he has never mentioned any autonomous-driving capabilities. California DMV spokesperson Jessica Gonzalez also confirmed in the report that the Golden State is also planning on talking with Tesla about its autonomous trucking efforts.

Meanwhile, there is no official date out as of now for Tesla to conduct trials of the self-driving semi trucks in Nevada. Its most popular competition comes from Uber and Waymo, Google's former autonomous vehicle development company now under its parent firm Alphabet Inc.

In those documents, Tesla sought state approval to test a prototype of its electric semi in Nevada that will contain self-driving software.

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The email exchange shows that the vehicle company is putting self-driving technology into an electric truck, which it plans to unveil in September 2017. On July 10, Zamani inquired further to the Nevada DMV about terms for a testing license, an email seen by Reuters shows. At the time, Musk said that the truck would likely launch in September 2017, but that it wouldn't include any autonomous or driverless features. They declined to comment further. One of the greatest challenges truck manufacturers and autonomous vehicle companies face is battery range limitations.

The company's main task over the next year is to get its lower-priced Model 3 electric vehicle into volume assembly at high quality, a process CEO Elon Musk has called "production hell".

Silicon Valley startup Peloton Technology, for example, is working with several truck makers including Volvo on its so-called platooning or road train system, which it sees as a precursor to autonomy. Venkat Viswanathan, a lithium ion battery researcher from Carnegie Mellon, told Reuters that long-haul electric trucks aren't commercially feasible yet.

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