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12 August 2017, 12:30 | Melanie Burgess
Tesla's teaser image of the semi truck
According to the report, details of which were carried in a number of other news outlets in the USA and internationally, the DMV was asked about platooning tests along with autonomous driving tests of the vehicles involving both the neighbouring states.
The electric truck, which is due to be unveiled in September by Elon Musk's electric vehicle company, is close to prototype on-road testing, with both Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and California officials in talks to permit trials on public roads, according to documents seen by Reuters. The electric-car maker also reportedly met with the California DMV to discuss "efforts with autonomous trucks".
In his TED talk, Musk positioned the electric truck as one that truck drivers would want to drive, instead of a new, self-driving truck. He made no reference to any dates for potential road tests.
Tesla is heavily engaged in autonomous driving developments for cars.
Reuters reports that Tesla is now developing self-driving technology for semi-trucks and that once the tech is ready Tesla wants to test it in Nevada.
Several companies are working on autonomous driving technology specifically for long-haul trucks, in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. On July 10, Zamani inquired further to the Nevada DMV about terms for a testing license, an email seen by Reuters shows. Peloton considers platooning as an important precursor to autonomy when it comes to long-haul driverless trucks, in order to increase safety and efficiency. 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. They declined to comment further. "And if you had a tug-of-war competition, the Tesla Semi will tug the diesel semi uphill".
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". It has only now been stated however, that the vehicle will be self-driving. 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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