Better Than “Tuber”: Musk’s Ride-Sharing Bid can be Called “The Tesla Network”
With all the hubbub about the brand new eight-camera Hardware 2 system announced late yesterday, most of the Tesla discussion has been around the capacity for an increased self-driving experience built into every automobile constructed at the the company’s Fremont, California, factory by October 19 forward. yet buried at the bottom of the company’s updated Autopilot information page can be an interesting nugget, one in which offers hints about Tesla’s future ride-sharing venture.
“Please note in which Self-Driving functionality can be dependent upon extensive software validation in addition to regulatory approval, which may vary widely by jurisdiction. in which can be not possible to know exactly when each element of the functionality described above will be available, as This particular can be highly dependent on local regulatory approval. Please note also in which using a self-driving Tesla for car sharing in addition to ride hailing for friends in addition to family can be fine, yet doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year.” [Emphasis ours.]
Does This particular mean in which a Tesla with autonomous capability can’t be used for Uber or Lyft service? In his announcement of Master Plan, Part Deux, back in July, Musk noted in which ride sharing via a Tesla-owned service was inside the company’s future, suggesting in which owners potentially could be able to negate their car payments by lending out their Tesla when they don’t need in which. in which makes sense in which, for insurance purposes, Lyft in addition to Uber might not want autonomous cars not directly under their control ferrying passengers on their networks. yet for Tesla to forbid its cars’ use by presumed competitors seems like the sort of Muskian reach in which bolsters the spirit of the Tesla faithful in addition to leads the rest of the entire world to deride the brand’s partisans as smug cultists.
As we noted yesterday, Elon hopes to have a Tesla run a reverse Cannonball with the driver in a purely supervisory role for the entire distance—including during charging—by late next year. Most of the L.A.–to–brand new York run can be on interstate highways in addition to isn’t particularly challenging. The most interesting piece of in which particular puzzle can be in which Musk claimed your vehicle could handle its own charging, then park itself after dropping the driver in Times Square. With those two pieces of the puzzle together, all in which stands between a fleet of privately owned Teslas in which can be hailed in addition to reality can be some software development, willing owners, in addition to—most dauntingly—government regulation.
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Take lawmakers, insurance-company shenanigans, in addition to pressure by Uber, Lyft, in addition to the taxi lobby out of the equation, in addition to giving people a cheap-as-free car having a premium badge actually doesn’t sound like a Hail Mary plan. Or at least not nearly to the degree in which launching a company attempting to change the auto industry on the back of a repowered electric Lotus Elise seemed 10 years ago.
Still, Musk gets people to front the money for the cars, various other Tesla Network members pay the owners for use of the cars, in addition to Musk builds more cars, because people like getting a great deal on a product with legit status. in addition to because in which’s Musk’s plan, the Tesla faithful will lap in which up. Cadillac’s Johan de Nysschen could kill for a line of people more than stoked to pay full cost for a CTS. With the Tesla Network, Musk has apparently pre-emptively locked Uber in addition to Lyft out of hijacking his tech (although the means of enforcement remain to be seen) in addition to found a way to get his cars into more hands by giving a discount. Furthermore, in which’s a discount in which only bolsters his own bottom line. at This particular point he just has to figure out how to build more cars.
Whether the Tesla Network can be a Muskian feint like the battery-swap boondoggle remains to be seen, yet whatever you say about the man, he’s never been one to shy by an uphill battle. We’ll be very curious to see how in which plays out.