Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced several new electric cars in development, as well as a new method for people to make money by sharing cars, the Wall Street Journal reports. These new models include a pickup truck, a small SUV, an over-the-road truck and a bus. However, what’s most intriguing are Musk’s plans for self-driving technology and how they aim to compete with Uber and other ride-sharing programs.
Tesla is developing self-driving car technology for the purpose of allowing owners to share vehicles with strangers while charging a fee. Much like Uber or Lyft, the idea is that someone can request a ride through Tesla’s app and an autonomous Tesla will show up and drive them where they need to go. This program would allow the Tesla’s owner to make money when they are not driving the car.
“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,” Musk said.
This all seems extraordinary, and a bit out of reach. Google, who have been spearheading self-driving car technology for several years, still haven’t made their tech publicly available. Musk talks a big game, but it remains to be seen if or when this technology will be available.
“The plan sounds overly ambitious for now, especially considering that there are already doubts about whether Tesla can meet its goals for the next two years,” Jessica Caldwell, auto analyst for Edmunds, said.
Find Musk’s full announcement here.