A LEAKED image being shared online appears to reveal Elon Musk's next big thing.
The Tesla boss is set to unveil the company's new electric semi-trailer truck later this month but it may have already been spotted.
An image purported to be of the battery-powered truck was briefly posted to Reddit then pulled down, but reposted to the site later by site moderators.
According to users on the reddit thread, the original poster reportedly said he got the photo from a friend who was at "an undisclosed place in California where they test Tesla vehicles."
But because the reddit user deleted the original post there is no way to corroborate the story.
Last month Elon Musk - who was recently in Australia spruiking South Australia's battery storage facility as well as a next-generation spacecraft for commercial travel - said the vehicle's launch was tentatively scheduled for October 26.
Tesla has not commented on the authenticity of the photo but the truck is clearly the same design as an official teaser image that was released by the company earlier this year.
The truck in the picture has similar vertical headlights, distinct fender flares and black trim surrounding its windshield. The leaked image of the truck shows a striking design in contrast to the diesel rig that is pulling the flatbed trailer carrying the suspected Tesla prototype.
Judging by the picture, a section behind the cab could be where the batteries are housed although Tesla's car models are designed with them in the floor of the vehicle providing a low centre of gravity for the car.
On the ground nearby is what appears to be a roof-mounted aerodynamic fairing, which is depicted on the truck in the teaser image. Tesla hasn't released any official specifications for the truck, but reports from those briefed on the vehicle say it can go between 320 and 480 kilometres per charge.
Self driving trucks could be the norm in about five to 10 years with the emerging technology becoming the poster child for job-taking automation.
Truck driving is the most common job in a majority of US states but most of those are expected to eventually disappear with the growing adoption of autonomous trucks.
In Australia self driving trucks have been used for years by the likes of British mining company Rio Tinto to transport iron ore 24 hours a day at their mine in the Pilbara region of WA.
However it's a different story when it comes to public roads and general traffic as it's expected to still be some time before our laws permit autonomous trucks on the road.
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