In a new post on Tesla’s blog on July 20, CEO Elon Musk released details on his “Master Plan, Part Deux” to bring Tesla’s vision of the future to its next stage following up on the original Master Plan he wrote ten years ago.
By next year, Tesla plans to unveil a number of new electric vehicle types to supplement their upcoming Model 3 sedan and SUV, including a pickup truck, a safer and more efficient semi, and a “high passenger-density urban transport.” The latter will have much more seating compared to buses currently in operation, filling in the center aisle and entryway areas. The goal is for Tesla buses to pick up passengers through a cellphone app or at designated “summon button” locations and drop them off directly at their destination, rather than following a set travel route. These buses will be automated, thus better able to match the flow of traffic. Musk also wrote that he plans to integrate his solar-energy company SolarCity with Tesla, with the goal of making Tesla the one company for sustainable energy in the home and on the road.
Autonomous vehicles are a central focus for Tesla, and their most recent line of vehicles have partial autonomy software that allows the driver to let the car drive itself, and resume manual control when they desire. Given that when autonomy is used properly, Musk says that it is “significantly safer than a person driving by themselves.” The software is still being refined, and learns as it is used by the Tesla fleet, at a rate of about 3 million miles per day.
Once full autonomy for cars is approved and regulated, even more options become available for the driver. Musk elaborates: “You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost. This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla. Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not.”