Tesla reveals latest master plan

Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla, has laid out the second part of his self-titled ‘master plan’ positioning the business as a leader in sustainable energy.

Musk’s plans account for an integrated carbon-free energy enterprise offering a wider range of vehicles, including buses and lorries, as well as products and services beyond electric cars and batteries.

And once the cars have full autonomous driving capability, Musk said Tesla would allow owners to add their cars to a shared fleet, meaning the vehicles can be making money for their owners when they are not using them.

With US road safety regulators currently investigating whether Tesla’s Autopilot function was at fault in a crash which left one man, the driver, dead. Musk stressed in his masterplan that Autopilot was in beta mode, and that all drivers are warned of that.

Musk wrote: ‘It would no more make sense to disable Tesla’s Autopilot, as some have called for, than it would to disable autopilot in aircraft, after which our system is named.

‘It is also important to explain why we refer to Autopilot as ‘beta’. This is not beta software in any normal sense of the word. Every release goes through extensive internal validation before it reaches any customers.

‘It is called beta in order to decrease complacency and indicate that it will continue to improve (Autopilot is always off by default). Once we get to the point where Autopilot is approximately 10 times safer than the US vehicle average, the beta label will be removed.’

Musk’s plans have drawn criticism from analysts, who suggest they are too vague. Speaking with the BBC, Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader, said, ‘As is typical, Elon Musk has laid out a grandiose plan for the future with no timeframes and few specifics, and no mention of how and when Tesla will be profitable.’