Tesla's upcoming electric semi truck will be able to drive itself

Tesla's upcoming electric semi truck will be able to drive itself

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). The e-mails seemed to indicate that Tesla's semis would "platoon", that is, drive in a formation such that a number of trucks could follow a lead vehicle.

Several other Silicon Valley companies are developing autonomous driving technology and are working on long-haul trucks.

Automaker giant Tesla Inc. will be the newest company to join other Silicon Valley groups in venturing the trucking industry, as it is now developing its own autonomous electric semi-truck, with the prototype nearly ready for testing.

The electric truck model is set for release in September, according to Tweets from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. More than a year ago, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment held an autonomous truck platooning demo that involved automakers such as DAF Trucks, Daimler, IVECO, MAN, Scania, and Volvo.

Tesla has been a leader in developing self-driving technology for its luxury cars, and is about to start manufacturing the lower-priced Model 3 auto.

"An email exchange in May and June between Tesla and Nevada DMV representatives included an agenda for a June 16 meeting, along with the Nevada Department of Transportation, to discuss testing of two prototype trucks in Nevada, according to the exchange seen by Reuters".

Furthermore, officials from California will meet on Wednesday to "talk about Tesla's efforts with autonomous trucks", state DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez told Reuters. The technology is also seen favorably by truck makers since the vehicles don't face cross-traffic scenarios and operate at a constant speed on highways.

Earlier this year at a TED interview, Musk described driving the company's semi-truck prototype.

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