Tesla Plans Autonomous Ride-Sharing, New Models
July 21, 2016—Tesla CEO Elon Musk released a statement Wednesday entitled “Master Plan, Part Deux” in which he described the next major steps for the electric vehicle automaker over the next several years.
The first part of Tesla’s “master plan,” released 10 years ago, involved creating a low-volume, high-cost car. The money made from that would be used to create a medium- volume car at a lower cost; then creating a high-volume car at an even lower cost. The final step was to provide solar power. Tesla sees that it has completed this first part of its plan with the Roadster, Model S and X, Model 3, and offer to buy Solar City.
In short, Musk described the second part of Tesla's plan as creating solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage, expanding the electric vehicle product line across all major segments, developing a self-driving capability that is 10 times safer than manual, and enabling vehicles to make money for owners when they aren’t using it.
Musk said the company is planning a future compact SUV and a new kind of pickup truck. The expanded model range will allow Tesla to reach most of the consumer market.
Musk also said Tesla owners in the future will be able to flip a switch on their smartphones that will allow their Tesla to become an autonomous ride-hailing vehicle. It will allow a Tesla vehicle to make money for its owner when the owner isn’t using it. Musk added that in cities where demand for a ride-hailing Tesla service exceeds customer-owned cars, Tesla will operate its own fleet.