Tesla to manufacture driverless 'platooning' semi-trucks

12 August, 2017, 00:32 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • FSMNews

California DMV spokesperson Jessica Gonzalez also confirmed in the report that the Golden State is also planning on talking with Tesla about its autonomous trucking efforts. Some of these tech firms are working on "platooning" technology which allow drivers to rest, while the automobile itself and trucks behind will follow the leader truck.

According to the report, details of which were carried in a number of other news outlets in the U.S. and internationally, the DMV was asked about platooning tests along with autonomous driving tests of the vehicles involving both the neighbouring states.

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.

It's no secret that Tesla has plans to build an electric semi-truck: the idea was floating around as early as September 2016.

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Tesla's latest project isn't completely new to the industry, but it does combine autonomy and sustainability - which other companies, so far, have pursued separately - and that may give Tesla a leg up in the brewing competition. There are now millions of truck drivers in the U.S. and, as reported by The Guardian, there is a "strong undercurrent of denial" that automation and autonomous vehicles will replace any jobs. Besides producing a video showing an Otto truck driving down a road without any safety personnel in the front seat, the company also executed the drive without the appropriate autonomous testing permit. Then, on July 10, Zamani asked the DMV for testing license terms. Both Uber, working with startup Otto, and Waymo have already done tests with their self-driving trucks, which puts Tesla a little bit behind. No particular date was mentioned, however, as to when this road testing would be. Ars has reached out to Tesla for comment and we'll update if we receive a response.

The company's main task over the next year is to get its lower-priced Model 3 electric auto into volume assembly at high quality, a process CEO Elon Musk has called "production hell".

Tesla is hardly the first to work on developing driverless trucks.

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