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Second installment of Tesla’s “Master Plan”

News   •   Jul 21, 2016 14:43 BST

Elon Musk, Chief Executive of Tesla, has published the second part of his self-titled “masterplan”.

On Wednesday night, Elon Musk released an updated strategy plan on his self-titled “masterplan”, which revealed that electric versions of pickup truck, small sport-utility vehicle, large over-the-road truck and bus-type vehicle are planned over the next several years.

Those vehicles are stated to follow the high-price Model S sedan and Model X SUV currently on the road, and the more affordable Model 3 due for launch in 2017.

The update also included a plan for customers to share autonomous Teslas, which are equipped with self-driving technology and has the potential to rival other self-sharing firms such as Uber Technologies Inc. Once the cars have full autonomous driving capabilities, Mr Musk said he would allow owners to make money on the cars when they are not using them.

Another announcement was that Tesla would be branching out into creating a “solar-roof-with-battery product” that people can have fitted to their homes. Musk wants Tesla to full acquire SolarCity, with the vision of a system which would turn homeowners into their own utilities.

His ambition, he wrote, was to “accelerate the advent of sustainable energy”.

“We must at some point achieve a sustainable energy economy or we will run out of fossil fuels to burn and civilization will collapse.

“Given that we must get off fossil fuels anyway and that virtually all scientists agree that dramatically increasing atmospheric and oceanic carbon levels is insane, the faster we achieve sustainability, the better.”

Musk is currently facing criticism after the roll-out of Tesla’s Autopilot feature, in which cars autonomously travel along motorways, changing lanes and speeding up or down in keeping with traffic. The technology failed to spot a vehicle driving across the Tesla’s path, which led to the death of the driver, however Musk stressed in his masterplan that Autopilot was in beta mode, and that all drivers are warned of that.

He said: “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.”

He said even partially autonomous cars are “already significantly safer than a person driving by themselves and it would therefore be morally reprehensible to delay release simply for fear of bad press or some mercantile calculation of legal liability.”