Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

Tesla plans trucks, small SUV as part of future plans

Tesla shares rose after Elon Musk's tweet Tesla shares rose after Elon Musk's tweet. Supplied
Garry Little | 22 July, 2016, 03:06

Tesla's boss Elon Musk has unveiled an ambitious expansion plan. He wants to build solar panel roofs with built in power storage capacity; introduce new Tesla vehicles to cover pickup, lorries and public transport sectors; further automation in existing vehicles, and even let owners of such cars make money from them when not in use.

In addition, the South African-born tech mogul unveiled that Tesla has already begun work on other terrestrial transport vehicles, namely electric-powered heavy trucks and buses.

In his second master plan, Musk details his aim to have self-driving cars widespread, and able to be summoned nearly anywhere.

Tesla drivers will have an opportunity to add theirs cars to "the Tesla shared fleet" and have it generate income with just a tap of a button.

Musk also explained why the integration of Tesla and SolarCity Corp., where he is a major shareholder, is necessary to achieve his goals.

Investors should think of Tesla's master plan as less of an event and more of a blueprint to keep an eye on as the company continues to grow. Tesla's semi-truck is expected to deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport. Doing so would allow Tesla vehicle owners to earn money from their cars while they are not in use - a system similar to the car-sharing service, Turo. Musk wrote that Tesla could not create a smoothly integrated and handsome solar roof and battery product if the two companies are separate.

Speaking of the buses, Musk wrote that with the advent of autonomy, Tesla will be able to shrink the size of the buses and will transition the role of a bus driver to that of the fleet manager.

Tesla will work towards developing fully autonomous driving technology that is much safer than conventional cars.

Musk also noted that in cities where demand exceeds the supply of customer-owned cars, Tesla will set up its own fleet so people can always get a ride.

When it comes to autonomous driving, Musk says Tesla's Autopilot system will move out of beta when the system is "10 times safer than the US vehicle average".

That was but one of the points included in his "Master Plan, Part Deux", published a decade on from the first, famous plan which he now sees as completed.

He also addressed the issues asking to disable Tesla's Autopilot, stating that it would no more make sense to disable the system than it would to disable autopilot in aircraft.

All Tesla vehicles will be equipped with the hardware to be fully self-driving, Musk said, meaning as the technology matures the software can be rolled out.

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