You maybe driving a fully Autonomous Model 3 in the future
Elon Musk had a busy week this week with the Tesla annual shareholders meeting where he announced Supercharging will not be free for the Model 3, the Tesla Board meeting, all hands meeting at the Tesla factory, then the recode conference. He made a point during the shareholders meeting to say he did not want his comments to be made into headlines but sometimes what you don’t say, or how you don’t say it is more important.
Tesla’s autosteer and summon features are great but it was always know they are just stepping stones to the great mission of a fully autonomous vehicle. We know this will be the future of driving we just don’t know when. If it is Google, Apple, or Tesla that come to the market first fully autonomous vehicles will be on the road soon. At the recode conference Elon stated that the technology for fully autonomous driving is about 2 years away with an additional year for regulators to approve the technology.
During the Q&A recode video he is asked if they will announce a fully autonomous Model 3 when they have finalized the design in 6 weeks. He give a coy look to the audience, smiles, and says “We are not expecting any event in 6 weeks”. Rumors have sparked that this is confirmation that the Model 3 will arrive with fully autonomous features. But let’s step back a moment and the previous day during the shareholders meeting he went to great detail about how the Model S and Model X will receive new technology and this technology will trickle down to the Model 3 when the costs are reduced. So one would expect the Model S and X to receive any new hardware before the Model 3.
Could the Model 3 include the next generation of AutoPilot hardware and eventually have a fully autonomous mode at some point in the future? Yes absolutely will VIN #1 have these features enabled when it rolls off the assembly line in late 2017? No not likely. But it also does not matter unlike traditional car companies Tesla vehicles can and will be improved by future software updates enabling extra features. That is the beauty of owning a Tesla and one reason why almost 400,000 people got in line to reserve the Model 3. If you buy a Model 3 in 2018 it will be a different type of car in 2019 with additional features and capabilities then when you first drive the car out of the Tesla delivery center.
What exactly will Tesla unveil at the second Model 3 launch? Will it include a fully autonomous feature?