Daily Management Review

Tesla Wants To Test Self-Driving Tech For Semi-Truck In Nevada, A Technology That Is Developing: Reuters


08/10/2017




Tesla Inc is getting closer to testing a prototype for a long-haul, electric semi-truck that can automatically follow a lead vehicle and move in "platoons" while driving itself, reported global news agency Reuters quoting an email discussion of potential road tests between the car company and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
 
Meanwhile, state DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez that in order "to talk about Tesla's efforts with autonomous trucks," California officials are meeting with Tesla.
 
By potentially moving it forward in a highly competitive area of commercial transport also being pursued by Uber Technologies Inc and Alphabet Inc's Waymo, Tesla is advancing toward real-life tests for putting self-driving technology into the electric truck it has said it plans to unveil in September, according to the correspondence and meeting.
 
While never mentioning the autonomous driving capabilities, at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting in June, Musk repeated the commitment he had made through a tweet in April that said that the semi-truck would be revealed in September. This tweet had come a year after he announced his intentions to produce a heavy-duty electric truck.
 
Including the lower-priced Model 3, which it is beginning to manufacture, Tesla has been a leader in developing self-driving technology for its luxury cars.
 
Already working on long-haul trucks are several Silicon Valley companies developing autonomous driving technology. Citing the benefits of allowing drivers to rest while trucks travel and little cross-traffic trucks face on interstate highways and the relatively consistent speeds of long haul trucks, such companies see the industry as a prime early market for the technology.
 
"Platooning", a driving formation where trucks follow one another closely, is a technology that some companies also are working on. The need for additional drivers would be cut off it trucks at the back of the formation were able to automatically follow a lead vehicle.
 
With the intention to discuss testing of two prototype trucks in Nevada, the email exchange also included an agenda for a June 16 meeting, The emails were exchanged between Tesla and Nevada DMV representatives in May and June.
 
"To insure we are on the same page, our primary goal is the ability to operate our prototype test trucks in a continuous manner across the state line and within the States of Nevada and California in a platooning and/or Autonomous mode without having a person in the vehicle," Tesla regulatory official Nasser Zamani wrote to Nevada DMV official April Sanborn, says Reuters which claims to have seen the emails. He made no reference to any dates for potential road tests.
 
Without a person in the cab, self-driving trucks in Nevada have not been tested by any company.
 
Musk faces doubt that the company can deliver the promises even though he has said that potential customers are eager to get a Tesla electric long-haul truck.
 
Battery range limitations have largely kept the trucking industry from making electric trucks that travel across swaths of the country even while established trucking companies and truck manufacturing startups have poured resources into electrifying local package delivery fleets.
 
(Source:www.reuters.com) 






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