Fri, Jul 22, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Tesla plans new truck, bus and car-sharing system

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Tesla Motors Inc plans to build a new pickup truck and an urban bus, and launch a sharing system of self-driving cars, company founder Elon Musk said on Wednesday.

The projects are part of what the billionaire entrepreneur called a “secret” second master plan for the US electric car manufacturer posted on the company’s Web site at a time it is looking to rebound from concerns over the safety of its “autopilot” semi-autonomous driving mode.

Tesla’s reputation has been hit by a fatal crash involving its self-driving system in Florida, and another crash in Pennsylvania, prompting federal safety investigations.

“In addition to consumer vehicles, there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport,” Musk wrote. “Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year.”

He also restated his ambition to make all Tesla vehicles completely autonomous — capable of driving without a human driver.

Once regulators approve the technology, “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 are at work or on vacation,” Musk said.

“In cities where demand exceeds the supply of customer-owned cars, Tesla will operate its own fleet,” he added.

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