Tesla is developing autonomous trucks

Tesla's teaser image of the semi truck

An email between the automaker and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has revealed that Tesla's long-awaited semi-truck will be able to move in "platoons" where multiple trucks can follow a lead vehicle.

Furthermore, officials from California will meet on Wednesday to "talk about Tesla's efforts with autonomous trucks", state DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez told Reuters.

Luxury electric auto maker Tesla reportedly plans to start testing a self-driving semi-truck.

Tesla's truck program is being led by VP of Trucks and Programs Jerome Guillen who has a long history in the long-haul trucking industry, having previously worked at Diamler and was General Manager of New Product Development at Freightliner Trucks. Besides producing a video showing an Otto truck driving down a road without any safety personnel in the front seat, the company also executed the drive without the appropriate autonomous testing permit.

Silicon Valley startup Peloton Technology, for example, is working with several truck makers including Volvo on its platooning system, which it sees as a precursor to autonomy.

Tesla is indicating it's serious about introducing an electric semi by seeking permission to test self-driving versions in California and Nevada.

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That's the term for automated vehicles traveling very close together at speed, which significantly cuts aerodynamic drag. He made no reference to any dates for potential road tests.

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

Note also that a similar design and there are other companies, but so far none of them came at least to the level of "confident prototype" - in all cases, a person has to be in the cockpit and control the process.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced over 12 months ago that he was planning to produce a heavy-duty electric truck.

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

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