Sharing vision for Tesla
What if your Tesla drives you to work in the morning and then drives off and becomes a shared car until the evening, when you need it to drive you home again?
This is exactly what the company is preparing for. It’s called Tesla Network and it’s part of Elon Musk’s “Master Plan Part Deux.” Or, as Musk tells it:
“When true self-driving is approved by regulators, it will mean that you will be able to summon your Tesla from pretty much anywhere. Once it picks you up, you will be able to sleep, read or do anything else enroute to your destination.
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.
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.”
Each of the latest vehicle updates (software and hardware) has a couple of Easter eggs that are preparing Tesla’s for car sharing. There’s for instance the inwards facing camera on the 3, storage of driver profiles (temperature, seat, steering wheel,…) no longer in the car, but in the cloud, phone based vehicle unlocking… Tesla’s vision is being realised technically without many people noticing but once level 5 autonomy is regulated, Elon just has to push the button and Tesla will become in virtually one second a major competitor with the Ubers and Lyfts of this world.
Due to its unique typology and its equally unique leader, Tesla is the only OEM (or energy company, to honor the company’s vision) that is truly putting its heart where its mouth is. Some of Musk’s ideas might not be welcomed by his shareholders, but this one certainly is.
Technology is already present in the vehicles, hard- and software work in harmony and most of all, the network will be able to operate without drivers who absorb part of the ride-hailing profits and the owners can offset part of their investment by making more money available… for their next Tesla.
In addition, Tesla can potentially reach 10% of the car sharing market which is predicted to reach a value of USD 11 billion in only 6 years’ time.
Musk’s vision about car sharing is not unique; the same business model is on the design tables of each OEM, but Tesla is again the first to – quoting the sports brand – just do it.