Tesla's electric big rig will also be autonomous, reports indicate


Tesla is looking to test a fleet of self-driving electric trucks in Nevada and California according to new details revealed in an email between the Silicon Valley-based electric auto giant and Nevada's 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.

Based on Tesla's work in the field of self-driving electric cars, you might think that the company's application to test big rigs would be a no-brainer. (There was also talk of a self-driving bus, ICYMI.) Tesla plans to unveil its 18-wheeler to the world next month, and soon after, it wants to start running road tests.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been teasing an electric semi truck for a while now, ahead of an official unveiling this fall. But details about the vehicle's driving system have not been reported.

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.

However, neither California officials nor Tesla would confirm the Reuters reports when contacted by Overdrive.

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On the heels of releasing the first of its much-awaited Model 3s, Tesla motors is looking into a new arena: self-driving trucks. 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.

Uber has also moved in a similar direction, acquiring the self-driving truck company Otto a year ago. Ars has reached out to Tesla for comment and we'll update if we receive a response.

Tesla plans to test the trucks in a "platooning" manner in California and Nevada.

Tesla's truck program is being led by VP of Trucks and Programs Jerome Guillen who has a long history in the long-haul trucking industry, having previously worked at Diamler and was General Manager of New Product Development at Freightliner Trucks.