Monday, 18 December, 2017

Tesla Wants To Test Autonomous Semi Without A Human Driver

Tesla's teaser image of the semi truck Tesla's teaser image of the semi truck
Sherri Watson | 11 August, 2017, 08:01

Reuters has seen email discussions of potential road tests being negotiated between the company, which for a brief period this year was named the most profitable auto company in America, and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). According to Reuters, the California-based vehicle company is developing long-haul, electric semi trucks that can drive themselves and move in "platoons".

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been teasing an electric semi truck for a while now, ahead of an official unveiling this fall.

"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. It has only now been stated however, that the vehicle will be self-driving. And Tesla, like other tech giants and automakers, has been racing to build self-driving cars. If trucks at the back of the formation were able to automatically follow a lead vehicle, that could cut the need for drivers. Tesla has also reached out to California DMV to talk about its "efforts with autonomous trucks". 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. They've crafted a plan for world domination that includes electric cars, self-driving technology, solar power, and energy storage, among other things-and they're not done yet.

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.

Gonzalez declined to elaborate further and messages to Tesla seeking comment were not returned. As Reuters report, Tesla might just test the first of prototypes soon on the roads of Nevada.