Reuters has seen email discussions of potential road tests being negotiated between the company, which for a brief period this year was named the most profitable auto company in America, and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). On Wednesday, Reuters published an email between a Tesla official and the Nevada DMV revealing that the electric auto company is applying for licenses to test its trucks’ self-driving and platooning capabilities across the border shared by the two states. 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.
Tesla put the wheels in motion for on-road vehicle automation while the rest the automotive industry ummed and ahed and continued testing.
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 vehicle. This mode will have at least two trucks moving one after the other in close proximity (the second one automatically follows the first).
Rueters found out that Tesla is in talks with both the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and California DMV regarding road tests and efforts with autonomous trucks. From that it was obvious to us that the technology would be applied to the upcoming Tesla semi truck.
Tesla is also set to meet with the California DMV to discuss autonomous trucking technology, according to comments made by that organization to Reuters.
Earlier this year at a TED interview, Musk described driving the company’s semi-truck prototype.
Tesla has been working on its autonomous driving software for years, and recently the company jumped into building its own hardware, too, after a public spat with sensor maker Mobileye.