Tesla has just unveiled its blueprint 'Masterplan Part Deux' for electric vehicles progression and development for the future, the next phase is to expand its range into pickups, vans, trucks even hgv's and semi's its final goal a self driving fleet of vehicles.
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- Written by Ben David T Quirk
Tesla is certainly leading the race of electric cars even though VW announced they want a significant no. Of EV's by by just after 2020, Elon Musks brand already offer a no. Of electric cars including the model S, model X and model 3. It is now clear that Tesla would like electric autonomous vehicles in all major segments.
These latest plans were outlined by Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO by a blog post - the post outlined that part of the plan was to introduce not just electric trucks with autonoumous capabilities but electric mass transit vehicles, a ride sharing scheme and self driving that is 10 times safer than a human at the wheel. This is an interesting addition after the unfortunate issue with the Model S incorrectly mistaking a white trailer turning left in front of the Model S for part of the bright sky which resulted in Tesla's first fatality. However this announcement does show the company still firmly believes in it's ev brand and the concept of autonomy in vehicles.
Believe it or not it's now been 10 years since the electric car compZny released their first blueprint, which ran to plan with the final model, the model 3 being released by the end of this year.
This latest blueprint likely hints at this being Elon Musks plans for Tesla for the next 10 years, even though no timeline was given in the CEO's post.
The plan comes at the perfect time after a month of not so great publicity mainly concerned with its beta autopilot system. The fatal accident in Florida has prompted Federal officials to investigate semi self driving systems that use use computers, radar and cameras to accelerate, decelerate and brake when necessary.
The autonomous driving for Tesla Autopilot has to be enabled by the driver and is currently in its beta phase, Musk said the test version of this was not “in any normal sense of the word” he went on to add the version is used to test software and determine bugs. He said it “is called beta in order to decrease complacency and indicate that it will continue to improve”.
“As the technology matures, all Tesla vehicles will have the hardware necessary to be fully self-driving with fail-operational capability, meaning that any given system in the car could break and your car will still drive itself safely,” he said.
The beta will be removed from Autopilot when the system “is approximately 10 times safer than the U.S. vehicle average.” Musk said. Tesla Autopilot miles will very soon exceed double the one death every 89 000 000 miles US citizens drove in 2015.
Musk has said recently on Twitter that Tesla is working on an Autopilot improvement as a result of the fatal crash in Florida.
A new feature being added to Autopilot would enable drivers to add their cars to the Tesla shared fleet to generate income: could tap a button on a phone app and the fully self-driving car would pick them up, a new autonomous uber?
A New electric SUV and truck
Tesla has always been at the forefront of development and research in new modes of transport, and with plans to expand its existing ev lineup to “address most of the consumer market,” according to Musk. including the Model 3, a compact SUV and a “new kind of pickup truck.”
As for a more economical electric vehicle Musk said, “is unlikely to be necessary” this is likely due to plans for ride-sharing and autonomy in the Tesla blueprint.
“What really matters to accelerate a sustainable future is being able to scale up production volume as quickly as possible,” Musk included in the post. Earlier this year it was announced that plans were put in place for Tesla to produce by 2018, 500,000 vehicles. The companies product launches which have sometimes run a little late have plans to unveil their latest “heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport” in 2017. He added these new additions are in the early stages of development.
Elon Musk yesterday said “We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate,”
Adding Tesla artics (articulated lorries) to its ev plans seems the logical route for progression, this would drastically reduce shipping and cargo transportation costs.
Elon Musk of Tesla has been developing SolarCity a $2.8 billion development, since he released the company’s first master plan in August 2006, when the only offering was a £75,000-plus electric roadster. The plan included ambitious plans to build a “wide range of models,” including a “sporty four-door family car” (the Model S) and an “even more affordable” model (upcoming Model 3).
“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,” Musk outlined in Masterplan Part Deux.