Tesla Could Be Eyeing autonomous big rig testing in Nevada

Tesla has been cramming semi-autonomous technology into its cars for many years now and while the tech has had some issues, it has proven to be one of the most sought after features in Tesla cars. Tesla calls its tech Autopilot and earlier this week Autopilot got an update that put it one step closer to fully autonomous driving. While the tech is moving forward in passenger cars, Tesla is looking to the future where big rigs can travel the roads autonomously.
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Reuters reports that Tesla is currently developing self-driving technology for semi-trucks and that once the tech is ready Tesla wants to test it in Nevada. Tesla wants an electric long-haul semi-truck that is able to drive itself and move in what Tesla calls “platoons” with other autonomous big rigs following a lead truck. That might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but work is that Tesla s getting close to testing a prototype of the vehicle.

Tesla is already in talks with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles according to an email discussion that the publication has seen. It isn’t putting all its testing eggs in the Nevada basket, and is also reported to be in talks with officials in California that a California DMV spokesperson called Jessica Gonzales told Reuters was “to talk about Tesla’s efforts with autonomous trucks.”

Tesla is well along in the development of the autonomous truck and promised in April of this year that it would unveil the electric semi in September. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also reiterated that September unveil date during the shareholder meeting in June. However, Musk didn’t say anything about the semi having autonomous driving during that shareholder meeting.

An autonomous truck could go a very long way to helping reduce traffic and accidents on the highways around the nation. A self-driving truck can’t get too tired and fall asleep at the wheel. An autonomous truck might also be freed from the federally mandated sleep requirements that human drivers must adhere to. The catch s that no one is saying the trucks won’t require a human driver at this point, but the platooning tech is expected to enable a lead truck with a human driver to have multiple unmanned trucks following behind.

SOURCE: Reuters





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