Will it even require a human driver?
Although it’s not officially scheduled to have a full debut until this September, Tesla CEO Elon Musk clearly couldn’t stop himself from teasing the upcoming all-electric semi-truck at a recent TED Conference in Vancouver. Musk didn’t delve into specifics, but did say the semi-truck is "seriously next level." The teaser image you’re looking at here is the same one Musk showed to his audience. From this angle it clearly looks like a semi-truck.
It’s tall but still looks quite futuristic, especially those headlights. In case you haven’t already noticed, there aren’t any conventional side mirrors. More than likely, there’s a camera system instead. Or, alternatively, think of it this way: Musk is already looking beyond the need for truck drivers, so why would a self-driving semi-truck need side mirrors? Apart from that, at least from this angle, the Tesla truck looks pretty slick. We’ll have to wait until September to get the full skinny. Just last week, Toyota unveiled its own take on cargo transportation of the future with a hydrogen fuel-cell semi-truck.
It doesn’t look all that futuristic, but underneath its skin there’s two hydrogen fuel cell stacks and a 12 kWh battery that, when combined, produce more than 670 hp and 1,325 lb-ft of torque. The semi also has a driving range of more than 200 miles per fill and has a combined weight capacity of 80,000 pounds. Those figures, more or less, are what Musk and crew must at least meet or beat come this September.