Elon Musk, Co-Founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, and one of the biggest innovators in the world has very recently revealed part two of Tesla's future plan in the automotive industry. The first was written by Musk 10 years ago and is now in the final stages of completion.
Disruptive companies are capable of achieving great results in a short period of time, however, it doesn't mean that the path is easy. Tesla faced a lot of scrutiny over a deadly accident with one of their vehicles, where its Autopilot system failed to prevent a collision. The accident raised a new wave of doubts over driverless vehicles mass production and Tesla's plan to go fully autonomous. However, despite entering the car industry at high-risk and high-cost, Tesla is still going strong.
In his first part of the masterplan, Musk outlined the main objectives Tesla needed to accomplish. The first was to create a low volume car, which, the CEO added, 'would necessarily be expensive.' To serve that purpose, Tesla introduced the Roadster sports car that came at the minimum price of $109,000 and was produced between 2008-2012.
The second mission was to use the profit from the Roadster and create a medium-volume vehicle that will come at a lower price. With this, Tesla came up with the Model S and Model X, where basic models can be purchased from $70,000. Another box to tick was to, again, use the money raised and create a new car that will be affordable and high volume. To achieve this, Tesla is about to finish its Model 3, which is set to be released by the end of 2017, and is believed to be the safest and cheapest, with the approximate price tag of $35,000.
The final point in part one was to provide solar power. In his latest blog post, Musk stressed that 'we must at some point achieve a sustainable energy economy or we will run out of fossil fuels to burn, and civilization will collapse.'Thus, the future target includes creating a product, where a solar-roof battery can be easily integrated, providing a more energy efficient experience. For customer convenience, Tesla wants to achieve a single ordering experience, a single installation and service contact - all through one smartphone app. Musk is also involved in the energy industry as a Co-Founder of SolarCity, a provider of clean energy. However, he pointed out that in order to combine forces of the two linked but completely different companies, the team needs to work on breaking the existing barriers to providing the best energy solution for future vehicles.
New plans that were outlined in 'part deux', include introducing two new types of vehicle: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger density urban transport. Tesla confirmed that both are in the early stages of development, but more details will be ready to reveal next year. Additionally, Tesla wants to create machines that can build its cars, in order to achieve a more efficient production line.
Probably the most sensitive part was dedicated to autonomy and the company's Autopilot feature that has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons in the past couple of months. Musk stressed that even though the technology is advanced, there is still a time gap before driverless technology will be approved by regulators. The company expects the approval to come at the point between 6-10 billion machine-learned miles, and Tesla has made just over 3 million. The CEO also referenced the 2015 NHTSA report, stressing that there has been an 8% increase in automotive fatalities to one death every 89 million miles. He concluded that 'once Autopilot is approximately 10 times safer than the US vehicle average, the current beta label will be removed from the system.'
And lastly, once Tesla reaches the approval for fully autonomous vehicles, the company wants to help customers to return the investment in vehicles by launching a 'sharing policy'. By using the Tesla phone app, car owners would be able to offer a 'lift' to others, where the Tesla vehicle would do the driving and the car owner would generate income, and reduce the cost of ownership.
Tesla Motors and Elon Musk are yet to face many challenges with regulations, paperwork, and development of new products. Disrupting the car industry is not an easy task, due to some negativity that surrounds it. However, it seems like Tesla is on the right track to change attitudes and deliver energy efficient, safe, and fully autonomous vehicles.