Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s “master plan” for the automaker includes dramatically expanding vehicles’ self-driving capability, allowing owners to add their cars to Tesla’s ride-sharing fleet to earn money while their owners are busy, he announced today.
“When true self-driving is approved by regulators, it will mean that you will be able to summon your Tesla from pretty much anywhere. Once it picks you up, you will be able to sleep, read or do anything else en route to your destination,” the CEO wrote on the company’s blog, adding that the additional money generated by self-driving cars via ride-share could exceed the owner’s monthly payment.
The plan, unveiled tonight, also includes manufacturing “solar-roof-with-battery products,” a component of Tesla’s planned acquisition of Solar City, a solar energy company run by Musk’s cousin, Lyndon Rive.
The automaker has faced intense scrutiny over the past few weeks following two collisions involving autopilot, a driver-assist program that uses cameras and radar to automatically change lanes, navigate traffic, and brake to avoid collision.
A 40-year-old Tesla enthusiast was killed in Florida in May when his Model S, driving on autopilot, crashed into a tractor-trailer it had failed to detect in its path. And earlier this month, a Model X on autopilot swerved off the road and struck a cable rail in Montana. (In that case, no one was injured, and Tesla says the driver did not have his hand on the wheel despite repeated alerts from the vehicle.)
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SOURCE: ABC News, Erin Dooley