Transportation

A Tesla Semi was spotted on I-80 near Sacramento. Why that might not be an anomaly

Meet Tesla’s new electric ‘semi’ trucks

Tesla's new fleet of semi trucks can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in 20 seconds, all while carrying 80,000 pounds of cargo, according to Tesla. The company also revealed it has a pickup truck in the works.
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Tesla's new fleet of semi trucks can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in 20 seconds, all while carrying 80,000 pounds of cargo, according to Tesla. The company also revealed it has a pickup truck in the works.

Driverless cars may be on California city streets for testing as early as April, but semi-autonomous cars are already driving on our highways.

And, apparently, so too are semi-autonomous trucks. A Tesla Semi, still technically a prototype vehicle, was recently seen driving on Interstate 80 in the Sacramento area, as documented by a YouTube video uploaded by another driver.

The Semi in the video, uploaded Tuesday, is seen near the IKEA furniture store in West Sacramento.

There is, of course, still someone in the driver's seat. But all of Tesla's vehicles have the hardware necessary for autopilot, with "full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver," according to the electric carmaker's website.

The "wild" Semi spotting already has tech blogs and self-driving car enthusiasts bubbling. And there's speculation that the I-80 route, passing through Sacramento, may be used regularly.

Tech website Futurism writes that Semis have been seen in action since January. Tesla news and rumors website Teslarati notes that the Sacramento spotting took place on a stretch of I-80 connecting the company's Fremont factory (and nearby Palo Alto headquarters) with its "Gigafactory" battery facility in Sparks, Nev.

Sacramento sits roughly in the middle of that four-hour drive. So if you're commuting along I-80 and see one of these futuristic-looking prototypes plugging along, don't freak out. It's not driving itself. Yet.

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