Tesla eyes autonomous big rig testing in Nevada

Tesla's teaser image of the semi truck

Tesla's teaser image of the semi truck

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during a TED Talk earlier this year that he hopes to unveil the semitruck in September.

The platoon technology described by Tesla would allow its electric-semi truck to engage in a lead-follow scenario.

Daimler, Volvo, and other European heavy-truck makers have put years of effort into the technology, including numerous demonstrations on limited stretches of highway. That is, one lead truck provides the correct input and driving directions for the rest of the platoon to follow.

Tesla plans to push for automated trucks.

Tesla's high-flying shares, up nearly 70 percent this year, closed down 0.5 percent at $363.53 on Nasdaq, but rose slightly after hours.

Now some details may have leaked out, in the form of an e-mail conversation between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles seen by the Reuters news service. The firm is also close to finishing work on a prototype model that it plans to test in Nevada. He made no reference to any dates for potential road tests.

The truck is expected to be officially revealed in September 2017, however, before that, the company is taking its prototype testing quite seriously. On July 10, Zamani inquired further to the Nevada DMV about terms for a testing license, an email seen by Reuters shows. Last October, the Silicon Valley startup Otto used an autonomous truck to ship beer in Colorado.

With Tesla, there's always something new coming up to keep owners, buyers, and fans excited. The state officials confirmed that a meeting with Tesla did happen regarding the matter. They declined to comment further.

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".

While established trucking companies and truck manufacturing startups have poured resources into electrifying local package delivery fleets, battery range limitations have largely kept the industry from making electric trucks that travel across swaths of the country. 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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