Tesla is reportedly working on a platooning system for its upcoming electric semi-truck, set to be unveiled in September, which will connect several self-driving trucks to a leader vehicle.
It is close to a prototype of the platooning system, according to email conversations between Tesla and the Nevada Department for Motor Vehicles (DMV), seen by Reuters. The emails talk about potential road tests in the state, which is a frequent destination for self-driving firms.
Tesla has also spoken to California DMV officials this week on the same subject.
The introduction of an autonomous platooning system would put Tesla in competition with Uber, which acquired self-driving truck startup Otto for $680 million last year. Waymo is also working on trucks, although the company has not unveiled any partnerships.
European automakers Daimler, Volvo, and Volkswagen are also testing self-driving trucks.
The business-as-a-mobility industry could be worth $3 trillion by 2050, according to a report by Intel and Strategy Analytics, most of the value coming from long-haul trucking.
Long-haul shipping is one of the most dangerous jobs, with quite a high employee turnover rate. Even with the high salaries, truckers are turning away from the rather lonely post, leaving it open for autonomous vehicles that don’t need sleep, coffee, or company.
There is still a worry that, in Tesla’s case, electric trucks will not be able to complete multiple deliveries across the U.S. without range worries. We’ll have to wait until September to see if the electric car manufacturer has seen to these worries.