Tesla Semi and Cybertruck Spotted with Lidar Testing Hardware

Image: @klwtts on Twitter

A Tesla Semi with new lidar equipment attached to the front was recently photographed in the wild by The Kilowatts (@klwtts). The prototype electric vehicle (EV) had hardware from Xenomatix, a company that develops solid-state-lidar technology, mounted under the windshield.

When The Kilowatts shared images of the lidar-equipped Semi on Twitter, user @dad_uff replied with a picture of a Tesla Cybertruck sporting the same equipment. While some users noted that the Cybertruck prototype was older, it had the same Xenomatix lidar rig attached to the front.

Tesla’s Semi is an all-electric Class 8 semi-truck. The company delivered its first Semi units to customers in December 2022, with more deliveries slated to go out this year. Last month, Tesla announced a $3.6 billion investment in Gigafactory Nevada to build a high-volume Semi plant.

The Cybertruck, meanwhile, isn’t expected to begin deliveries until the end of this year at the earliest. Tesla was recently seen assembling the “Giga Press” aluminum die-casting machine that will make the chassis and panels for the all-electric pickup at its Gigafactory in Austin, Texas, with production expected to begin in mid-July.

Back in May 2021, Tesla started switching from radar on its EVs to “Tesla Vision,” an entirely camera-based system, for Autopilot, Full Self-Driving (FSD), and some active safety features.

The automaker uses vehicles equipped with lidar hardware to field-test and calibrate its driver assistance and autonomous driving systems, which is likely what the Semi and Cybertruck prototypes were spotted doing.