Tesla Semi Truck Prototype is Spotted Driving On a Highway

Friday, 02 March 2018 - 7:31PM
Technology
Friday, 02 March 2018 - 7:31PM
Tesla Semi Truck Prototype is Spotted Driving On a Highway
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Tesla
We still haven't heard a firm ETA for the Tesla Semi, the electric semi truck that Elon Musk unveiled last fall. We know it's scheduled to begin full production in 2019, but there's no known timeframe for afterward.

Even so, prototypes of the Tesla Semi do exist: there have been sightings in the wilds of California's Silicon Valley, and they're now driving longer distances away. Back in January, one was spotted driving around Sunnyvale in the Bay Area, but a new and longer video shows that Tesla is letting their drivers take the prototypes even farther from home, and on highways no less. 

This new sighting happened on the I-80 highway just outside Sacramento. The final version of the truck is supposed to have at least some autonomous capabilities, but a human driver can clearly be seen in the footage here, so Tesla's clearly not finished with that part. See it below:



It seems to be running smoothly, and it can comfortably move at fast enough speeds for a highway, although no cargo has been attached yet. The Semi will come in two models once it's finished, capable of traveling 300 or 500 miles on a single charge and purportedly going from zero to 60 miles per hour in 20 seconds, with up to 80,000 pounds of cargo attached. It'll also cost $150,000-$180,000, because fancy semi trucks aren't cheap.

And while it's tougher to hear in this recording than in other recordings, the Semi is extremely quiet, much like the more normal Tesla cars.  



This highway trip is good news for the many companies who've already pre-ordered fleets of the electric trucks, including Walmart, Meijer, and Loblaws, in an attempt to make their cross-country shipments a little more environmentally friendly.

However, Tesla has also stated that it will be its own first customer, using the trucks to move Tesla supplies around the country before selling them to buyers.

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