Part two of Elon Musk’s master plan? Solar power and autonomous transport

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Elon Musk has outlined “part deux” of his masterplan for Tesla, the follow up to part one published 10 years ago.

In his previous post, Musk outlined his grand plan for the electric car company, which included building an electric sports car, using the money earned from that car to make a more affordable car and then using that money to make an even more affordable car.

“The reason we had to start off with step 1 was that it was all I could afford to do with what I made from PayPal,” explains Musk.

Fast forward to today and Musk has accomplished what he set out to do a decade ago. Tesla’s Autopilot feature – the autonomous driving mode that is switched off by default – is also leading the charge towards autonomous vehicle applications.

Sadly the Autopilot feature does not insure absolute safety. In May of this year a driver died because Autopilot, and the driver failed to take action when a truck crossed the road.

Despite this Musk has defended the feature. “Every release goes through extensive internal validation before it reaches any customers,” Musk said speaking about Autopilot. “It is called beta in order to decrease complacency and indicate that it will continue to improve.”

According to the Tesla chief executive officer, once Autopilot is 10 times safer than the US vehicle average, the beta label will be removed.

“Almost anyone could own a Tesla”

The plans for Tesla don’t end at making a cheap car. Once autonomous vehicles have been approved by regulators, Musk plans to let owners make money from their vehicles.

“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,” he says.

Musk’s imagined future sees car owners using their car once and then sending it off to give lifts to others, sort of like Uber.

Tesla also has plans for heavy-duty trucks and public transport vehicles such as buses. “Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year,” reports Musk.

Cars are not the only thing in Musk’s sights, he has plans for a “smoothly integrated and beautiful solar-roof-with-battery product” that can be used around the world. He explains that this was the reason behind Tesla’s move to acquire SolarCity last month.

“That they [Tesla and SolarCity] are separate at all, despite similar origins and pursuit of the same overarching goal of sustainable energy, is largely an accident of history. 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,” writes Musk.

[Source – Tesla][Image – ND BY 2.0 OnInnovation]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.