Elon Musk announced on Thursday that his company Tesla Inc. plans to unveil an electric semi truck this September.
The CEO of Tesla took to Twitter to make the announcement but, Musk did not elaborate on the project.
“Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September,” Musk said on Twitter. “Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level.”
Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September. Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2017
Adding a semi truck to the production schedule for Tesla is an ambitious project. The company is currently designing, developing, and manufacturing the highly anticipated model three midmarket sedan, which will be the companies cheapest and most affordable automobile yet.
However, Musk’s decision to begin building and manufacturing autonomous driving trucks should not come as a surprise. The CEO previously announced that the company had indicated a semi truck was coming shortly. Last July, Musk said heavy-duty trucks were among the type of electric vehicles needed in the marketplace and that Tesla is expected to unveil their line of trucks later on this year.
“We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate,” he said in the company’s “master plan.”
The move toward self-driving trucks is an inevitable outcome of technology and self-driving cars. Two years ago, the American Trucking Associations a cut conducted a study and found a shortage of professional truck drivers in the trucking industry. As a result, the Association suggested an increase in pay for truck drivers and by 2016 truck drivers received the largest pay raise out of any other industry of nearly 8%. Self-driving trucks will all will be able to provide more truck drivers and perhaps autonomous vehicles, which could end up taking jobs or decreasing the cost of delivery.
What is important to note is Elon Musk is not alone in his venture to deliver self-driving trucks. Google’s Waymo, which announced automated self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans last year, is also planning on developing self-driving semi-trucks and other ride-sharing services.
Tesla stock rose approximately 2.4% in afternoon trading.