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Tesla did not say a word about the Tesla Semi being equipped with autopilot/self-driving




At the unveiling of the production version of the Tesla Semi, the automaker announced a lot of things about the electric truck, but it didn’t say a word about it being equipped with Autopilot/Full Self-Driving technology.

That is despite being equipped with the necessary hardware.

When Tesla first announced the Tesla Semi in 2017, the automaker was still early in its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving efforts, but the automaker had already announced that all production vehicles moving forward will eventually be able to drive themselves with future software updates.

The automaker didn’t go so far as to talk about self-driving when it comes to the Tesla Semi, but the company announced at the time that it will be equipped with Enhanced Autopilot.

It was the slide from the original presentation to reveal the electric truck:

Along with the safety features that Autopilot can enable, Tesla had also announced that the Tesla Semi would be able to achieve a sort of convoy mode where you can have multiple semi trucks follow each other closely autonomously on the highway.

Here’s the quick video demo of the feature it released at the time:

5 years later and now that the production version of the Tesla Semi has been unveiled, Tesla has removed all mention of the electric truck equipped with autopilot or this convoy mode from its website.

Tesla also did not mention anything related to advanced driver assistance features during the presentation about the production version of the Tesla Semi.

Although Tesla didn’t mention anything about it, it looks like the hardware is there to make it happen. Minimal Duck posted a video on Youtube that gave a closer look at the Tesla Semi trucks at the event, and they were equipped with a wide variety of cameras.

First, there are 3 cameras on each side mirror:

One of them is used to feed the side views inside the vehicle and we expect that Tesla’s goal is to eventually be able to remove the mirror part of the side mirror to use only the camera feed and improve aerodynamic performance.

Here you can see the side camera feeds inside the Tesla Semi cockpit:

As for the other two cameras on the side mirrors, they appear to correspond to the fender and B-pillar cameras in the Autopilot sensor suite found on Tesla’s passenger vehicles.

Tesla also appears to have integrated the same 3-camera found on top of the windshield of passenger vehicles in the Tesla Semi:

Therefore, it appears that Tesla has recreated its package of Autopilot/FSD cameras in its passenger cars in the new electric truck.

Tesla also appears to have added a camera to the front bumper of the Tesla Semi:

In conclusion, Tesla appears to have integrated its Autopilot/FSD hardware suite into the Tesla Semi, but there is no question of enabling self-driving capability as it is in the passenger vehicles.

Electrek’s Take

I might have an idea why Tesla won’t talk too much about autopilot or self-driving when it comes to the Tesla Semi, since right now, and probably for the foreseeable future, it will need truck drivers to get on board with the vehicle.

That might be harder to achieve if you’re talking about eventually replacing them with features that already exist inside the electric truck.

It’s not really transparent, but it’s business.

Either way, I don’t think truck drivers have much to worry about for long. Not only is Tesla’s Full Self-Driving clearly not ready to have no one behind the wheel, but truck drivers also do more than just drive. They have responsibilities where they pick up the load and where they deliver, and in between that is not yet automated.

I believe that in the coming years, truck drivers will see some tasks associated with their job being automated, including driving to some extent, but they will still be needed for more than a decade in my opinion.

If anything, I see the Tesla Semi making trucking an even more fun job.

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