Does The Tesla Semi Have Autopilot/Self-Driving?

It's rarely a good sign when product manufacturers can't answer a simple question. Shortfalls and unwelcome surprises often lurk behind a company's strategic silence on a given subject. If online shopping services just take care of our errands for us, how do they make any money? Are all the apps in the Google Play Store safe to download, and what is Google doing to protect its users? Hey Tesla – how's your range in winter?

Not to keep picking on Musk's business efforts, but Tesla can be particularly unforthcoming with certain details that consumers care about. Marketing based on image and excitement rather than boring practical stats is hardly unique to Tesla, but they certainly lean into the practice. That's not a problem — until the narrative takes over completely and relevant facts disappear.

By way of an example, does the new Tesla Semi come with Tesla's Full Self-Driving and/or Autopilot software driving assists? That's not rhetorical. If you've got an answer backed with a solid source, send it our way. We're an automotive news outlet and we haven't heard word one on the subject. That's not a great sign.

The sound of silence

First, the good news: The Tesla Semi has been delivered to its first customers, and barring a few possible technical hiccups, implementation is proceeding. PepsiCo, Budweiser, Walmart, and others will be putting the all-electric truck to use soon. Better yet, the trucks seem to be delivering on Tesla's promises of a top-of-the-line machine. The Tesla Semi consistently outperforms competitors on several key metrics. It even comes in at a lower price than trucks with similar stats — a rarity compared to other Tesla models.

Next to all that, questioning the onboard software might seem unnecessary, but we think otherwise, and so does Electrek. As they reported, not only has Tesla made no announcement regarding autonomous operation in the Semi, the carmaker has systematically removed any reference to Autopilot and Full Self-Driving from the truck's online presence on the Tesla website.

Crucially, Tesla has at no time said that the Semi will not have software driver assists either. A definitive declaration that autonomous operation will be available on the Semi would be a gamechanger for the trucking industry. Business-wide problems like overwork, driver fatigue, and physical and mental health concerns could benefit substantially from an autonomous driving option (via FreightWaves). Will Tesla lead the way? For now, it's uncertain if it will be a future feature, but otherwise it's not a feature available in the current Tesla semi.