Tesla's plans were made public following an email discussion between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), as seen by Reuters. But details about the vehicle's driving system have not been reported.
Musk confirmed of Tesla working on heavy-duty electric trucks in one of his tweets in June. California DMV is working with California Highway Patrol on writing rules governing semi-trucks that need to be tested as autonomous vehicles before they're legally allowed free access to roads. On Wednesday, Reuters published an email between a Tesla official and the Nevada DMV revealing that the electric vehicle company is applying for licenses to test its trucks' self-driving and platooning capabilities across the border shared by the two states.
"Platooning has the potential to significantly reduce the running costs for truck operators and is an easier bridge to a practical, commercial semi-autonomous application in the early 2020s", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said Thursday in a note to investors. Previously, he'd said it would be "seriously next level" and was slated to debut in September.More news: Tata Motors, Skoda call off partnership plan
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Platooning is when a group of vehicles travels close together at electronically coordinated speeds; the technique increases fuel efficiency by lessening drag. Tesla has been a leader in developing self-driving technology for its luxury cars, including the lower-priced Model 3, which it is beginning to manufacture.
Entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Musk never stops when it comes to innovation, and now his company, Tesla, is developing a long-haul, electric semi-truck that will be self-driving. The company will have to wait until government officials approve operation of fully autonomous vehicles before those automated functions can be activated. Tesla seems to be passing through scrutiny over the safety of using Autopilot since last year's fatal crash in Florida.