Tesla's new self driving hardware/360 degree vision to allow for Level 5 autonomy
Though details remain sparse, Tesla says that it'll roll out details on the "Tesla Network" starting next year, some details of which we're first released in Elon Musk's "Master Plan Part Deux" this past July. Master Plan quote from Musk below:
“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.
This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla. Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not.”
The Tesla Network apparently goes hand-in-hand with full self-driving at some point too. Musk envisions your car being put to use while your at work, or sleeping or doing something else that doesn't require use of your own vehicle.
More recently, Tesla stated this following the Tesla self-driving announcement:
"Please note that using a self-driving Tesla for car sharing and ride hailing for friends and family is fine, but doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year."
But as Reuters notes, most analysts question the feasibility of an OEM-owned fleet. For example, Barclays analyst Brian Johnson stated:
"While we think ride-sharing/hailing is the future of mass-market mobility, we have some financial concerns with the idea of an OEM-owned fleet."
From Tesla's most recent quarterly (Q3 2016) report Q&A, Musk was asked if he would comment "philosophically" about how he was viewing the Tesla network - it it would generate income for Tesla? Or just help develop future products ? Or for market share gain and to help people offset the price of the car long-term?
"I think it's a bit of both really. This would be something that would be a significant offset on the cost of ownership of a car and then a revenue generator for Tesla as well. Obviously the majority of the economics would go to the owner of the car. Sometimes, it has been characterized as Tesla vs Uber, or Lyft, or something like that. But it's not Tesla vs Uber. It's the people vs Uber."
Guess we'll find out sometime next year how Tesla plans to make its Tesla Network successful, both for the car owner and for the automaker itself.