April 13, 2019 by Jennifer Sensiba
Elon Musk and Tesla have made great promises about full self-driving for years, but the latest announcements show us that they are confident enough to be able to bet big in the next 3 years. They would not be as confident if they had not finished it in large part and would probably show us something exciting on the 22nd.North Dakota.
Before making any informed assumptions and speculating on this, let's review recent tweets and announcements for those who have just given:
February 19, Elon Musk appeared on the ARK Invest podcast. There is a lot of good information in the podcastbut there were several big takeaways that are applicable here. He said the Full Self Driving software will be "complete" by the end of 2019 and that Tesla is about to reach a significant milestone. For those who do not believe that this is possible because many other companies are not so close, he stressed that Tesla had a huge advantage: the data. With all Tesla cars on the road equipped with cameras and 4G data connections, they have more training data for machine learning than any competitor.
April 4, Elon Musk replied to a tweet asking for the purpose of the camera oriented towards the inside in model 3. He said: "This is the case when we start competing with Uber / Lyft and people let their cars make money as part of Tesla's self-sustaining fleet. If someone spoils your car, you can check the video. "The camera lens has been known for quite some time now, but this recent tweet confirms the purpose again and shows that the plans have not changed.
Later in the conversation, he added"What is not well understood is that Tesla cars manufactured today can do that for you. Just a question of software finishing and regulatory approval. Will be explained in detail via a live webcast on April 22. "
April 11, Tesla make a big announcement. While many focus on price changes and rental availability, Tesla told us two very important things that tell a little more about what's going on inside, if you read between the lines.
First of all, the blog article said that all Teslas would now be sold with the autopilot included, and buying a Tesla without an AP would be an option for any buyer.
Second, they said: «Please note that customers who opt for the rental rather than the property will not have the option to buy their car at the end of the rental agreement because with complete autonomy coming through an update Live software, we plan to use these vehicles. in the Tesla network. "
When you put it all together, it is clear that Tesla has a powerful card in his sleeve and that there is no fear of getting ready to play it.
First, Tesla is at the point where she no longer wants to sell vehicles without an autopilot enabled. Safety ratings assigned by organizations such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are not just crash tests, but also evaluate vehicles on their ability to prevent accidents in the first place. Including autopilot and sub-functions that prevent collisions, Tesla knows it will get a better overall safety rating. This should help make Teslas more affordable to ensure over time, especially if the autopilot reduces Tesla's accident statistics in the future.
This also shows that Tesla probably wants more data to be able to carry out complete self-driving. With artificial neural networks and machine learning, the data examples are enormous. The program must learn when it has been successful, when it has worked poorly and when it has been "disengaged" to become better. If each Tesla is equipped with the current limited version of the autopilot, which does not allow fully autonomous driving, Tesla will be ready to do so sooner.
This thirst for data could mean that Tesla's machine learning engineers have taken an important step internally. I'm not able to know what this step is (yes, my article of April 1st It was an April prank joke), but I guess the teams solved a big problem that they had not solved before and that it 's okay. was the last major hitch. Again, this paragraph is pure speculation, but given the recent announcements, it makes sense.
The most important thing that shows Tesla's confidence is that it's risking a lot with the new rental program. Model 3 leases will likely be very popular and they will not give any renter the opportunity to buy cars at the end. The plan is to put the cars into service by providing driverless taxi services at the end of the 3 year leases, but if they did not lend the FSD system by then, they will have a bunch of models 3 used in their hands. Any simultaneous sale would likely result in a flood of the market, resulting in a rapid drop in the price of a used model 3.
Bottom Line: If Tesla does not have fleet jobs for all these 3 lease transfer models, it will take a big financial blow. If the company did not trust the cars' ability to take off, it would not do it.
We do not know much at the moment, but one thing is certain: the announcement of Tesla on the 22nd will be an event not to be missed. Elon and his team announce something big that will tell us a lot more about their future plans.