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Tesla Wants To Test Autonomous Semi Without A Human Driver

Tesla Wants To Test Autonomous Semi Without A Human Driver

Tesla is poised to begin testing a self-driving semi-truck in an advancement that could help revolutionize shipping, according to multiple reports. The news comes via Reuters, which read an email discussion between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.

Elon Musk first announced the Tesla semi-truck over 12 months ago as part of his second master plan and intends on revealing the concept in September but until now, there's been no word about the vehicle implementing any sort of autonomous driving capabilities. After recently unveiling the Tesla Model 3, the company is now developing self-driving semi-truck.

Silicon Valley companies have investigated how to build long-haul trucks that have self-drive technology, too, according to Reuters. 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.

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

The industry is seen as lucrative, due to the relatively consistent speeds and little cross-traffic that trucks face on highways. However, it's still unclear whether the lead vehicle would have a driver or operate autonomously with a person in the front seat to monitor safety.

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Tesla isn't alone in the pursuit of platooning technology, however. The idea is to have one truck in the lead with the rest following closely behind, slowing down or speeding up at the same time as the lead vehicle.

Zamani did not mention any dates for potential road tests but inquired about the terms of obtaining an AV testing license.

Officials at Tesla, the California DMV and Nevada DMV were not immediately available to comment Thursday morning.

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.