And they have an innovative plan to help Tesla owners make some extra cash.
Ten years ago, Elon Musk wrote Tesla’s first master plan, and the company has now checked everything off that to-do list, as outlined in a recent blog post:
1. Create a low volume car, which would necessarily be expensive
2. Use that money to develop a medium volume car at a lower price
3. Use that money to create an affordable, high volume car
4. Provide solar power. No kidding, this has literally been on our website for 10 years.
Now that Tesla has accomplished these goals, they’ve rolled out a “Master plan, part deux.”
Integrate solar energy generation and storage.
First, Musk aims to create a “beautiful solar-roof-with-battery product” that works smoothly, and scale it throughout the world to empower individuals to work towards a more sustainable world.
Acquiring SolarCity, a solar power company owned by Musk’s cousin, is a key part of accomplishing this goal, Musk explains. “Now that Tesla is ready to scale Powerwall and SolarCity is ready to provide highly differentiated solar, the time has come to bring them together,” the blog post states.
Upscale vehicle production and add new vehicle models.
Tesla currently produces over 100,000 cars annually, but the company is aiming to increase that number to half a million cars per year by 2018.
Further, they want to add more kinds of vehicles to offer customers, with plans to add a compact SUV and pickup truck. Tesla is also developing a heavy-duty truck, called the Tesla Semi.
Achieve fully autonomous cars.
Tesla wants to produce cars that are fully self-driving, with SAE level 5 autonomy, meaning the vehicle requires no driver input even if something goes wrong. This goal will take some time, however.
“Even once the software is highly refined and far better than the average human driver, there will still be a significant time gap, varying widely by jurisdiction, before true self-driving is approved by regulators,” the blog post states. “We expect that worldwide regulatory approval will require something on the order of 6 billion miles (10 billion km)” of fleet learning, meaning the cars will learn over time thanks to big data machine learning. Current fleet learning rates are occurring at just over 3 million miles per day.
Create a “shared fleet” of self-driving cars.
Once cars become fully autonomous, people will be able to summon their Tesla from anymore, and then sleep, read, or safely play Pokémon GO enroute to their destinations.
After Tesla achieves this, they’ll add a feature where users can add their car to the “Tesla shared fleet” simply by tapping a button on the smartphone app. This will enable the self-driving car to shuttle other people around while the car owner is at work or on vacation, generating extra income.
Considering people only use their cars for about 5 to 10 percent of the day, “This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla,” the blog states.
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