Furthermore, officials from California will meet on Wednesday to "talk about Tesla's efforts with autonomous trucks", state DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez told Reuters. Besides producing a video showing an Otto truck driving down a road without any safety personnel in the front seat, the company also executed the drive without the appropriate autonomous testing permit.
The company is proposing to test an electric semi-truck that can drive itself and move in "platoons" that automatically follow a lead vehicle.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously announced that the company would unveil an electric truck in September, but didn't hint that it would be self-driving.
Tesla isn't alone in the pursuit of platooning technology, however.
Self-driving trucks haven't been tested on Nevada roads yet. The idea is to have one truck in the lead with the rest following closely behind, slowing down or speeding up at the same time as the lead vehicle.
Auto industry experts have long expected that autonomous vehicle technology will roll out widely in trucks before other vehicles.
The trend is clear: governments and private manufacturers see autonomous vehicles as the future of transit, and as self-driving vehicles infiltrate the trucking industry, they could drive down costs and increase efficiency for shippers, but put truck drivers and even carriers out of business. She said that the DMV was not aware of the level of autonomy in the trucks.
The commitment was also made clear and repeated during the company's annual shareholder meeting in June.
Tesla has yet to comment on their new innovation.
The company's main task over the next year is to get its lower-priced Model 3 electric vehicle into volume assembly at high quality, a process CEO Elon Musk has called "production hell".
"Your cargo essentially becomes the battery", Viswanathan said of the massive batteries that would be needed to make range competitive with diesel. By comparison, the company's electric local package delivery trucks travel up to 80 miles on a full charge.