Elon Musk predicts that Tesla drivers should be able to access autonomous features — without intervention — by next year.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on June 12, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk held an upbeat shareholders meeting, touting his cars against named brands and saying: “It won’t be long before we have a 400-mile (644 km) range car.”

That’s Sydney to Albury/Wodonga via the A41 and Hume Highway/M31 or Melbourne to Murray Bridge in South Australia via the Western Highway/A8 and National Highway/A8 before you have to charge the battery.

In a wide-ranging presentation and question-and-answer session, Elon Musk predicted that Tesla drivers should be able to access autonomous features — without intervention — by next year, CNBC reported.

“Clearly we’re headed toward electrification, and clearly we’re headed toward autonomy, and this is the kind of car people want to get,” Elon Musk said.

“Every car made since October 2016 is capable for full autonomy with replacement of the computer alone.

“We’ll still need regulatory approval but the capability will be there. This massively increases the value of the car. In fact, I think it’s basically financially insane to buy anything except an electric car that is upgradable to autonomy.”

He announced the “cyberpunk truck” would be unveiled early next year. Tesla has previously boasted that the pick-up truck would be able to outperform the likes of the Porsche 911 and be better than the Ford F-150, one of the most popular pick-up trucks in the US.

Musk said that the Model Y SUV, which will be launched next year, and Model 3 will both be entirely vegan – including the steering wheel from 2020 – in response to a question from a PETA representative.

He predicted Model Y will generate more demand than the three vehicles Tesla offers – the Model 3, Model S sedan, and Model X SUV – combined.

Tesla Model Y outside shareholders' meeting

Musk said demand for Tesla’s vehicles continues to be strong, despite concerns sparked by disappointing first-quarter delivery numbers.

“I want to be clear,” he said. “There is not a demand problem.”

Tesla is selling far more vehicles than it can produce, Musk said, and added Tesla has a “decent shot” at delivering more vehicles in the second quarter of this year than in any prior quarter. Its current record came in the fourth quarter of 2018 when it delivered 90,700 vehicles.

In April, Tesla accounted for 32 per cent of all EVs sold in the US, far outpacing those sold by General Motors, Ford, Audi, and Toyota, the parent company of Lexus.

“Sales have far exceeded production,” Musk said, which he described as “pretty good,” and “outselling all competitors combined in the US”.

Musk said Tesla hoped to build a factory on each continent to lower transportation costs. The factory in Shanghai, China, was progressing quickly, he said.

After tumbling to a new 52-week low at US$176.99, Tesla’s stock has been on an upswing. It closed Tuesday’s trading session above US$217, up more than 4 per cent on the day, adding an additional 3.5 per cent in after-hours trading.