- REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo
Elon Musk envisions a world where Tesla owners will be able to make money from their cars by letting other people use them to hail a ride.
Musk just announced the company’s “Master Plan, Part Deux,” and in it he outlined his vision for a car-sharing program for self-driving vehicles.
The company aims to make all Tesla vehicles fully self-driving, and sees car-sharing as a way to make buying one more affordable.
“When true self-driving is approved by regulators, it will mean that you will be able to summon your Tesla from pretty much anywhere,” he writes. “Once it picks you up, you will be able to sleep, read or do anything else en route to your destination.”
When you’re not using your self-driving car, you could add it to the “Tesla shared fleet,” he continues. That way, you could use it to generate income while you’re at work or on vacation.
“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.”
This vision may sound a little too close for comfort for Uber, which is also working on its own self-driving car tech, or Google, which is the farthest along on its autonomous-vehicle tech, but without a clear business model for distributing it.
“In cities where demand exceeds the supply of customer-owned cars, Tesla will operate its own fleet, ensuring you can always hail a ride from us no matter where you are,” Musk concludes.