Tesla Motor’s new second-generation Autopilot Hardware 2 suite of autonomous driving tech many have been the company’s biggest announcement this week, but the leading electric vehicle manufactures also hinted at its future Tesla Network ridesharing program, which was briefly mentioned at the bottom of the webpage about the new autonomous driving hardware.
In the last sentence of the last paragraph on the webpage, Tesla said: “Please note also that using a self-driving Tesla for car sharing and ride hailing for friends and family is fine, but doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year.”
This isn’t the first time Tesla has hinted at its upcoming ridesharing program. As part of his Secret Master Plan Part Deux revealed in July, company CEO Elon Musk said that a new phone app will allow you to earn extra income by sharing your car when you’re not using it.
Starting October 19, 2016, all Tesla vehicles – including the more affordable Model 3 sedan – will be built with the new Autopilot Hardware 2, which consists of eight surround cameras, 12 updated ultrasonic sensors, forward-facing radar with a redundant wavelength, and a more powerful processor. Although the system will be capable of Level 5 operation, Tesla will limit its capability until each function is fully vetted by letting the system run in “shadow mode” collecting data from each vehicle.
Initially, Autopilot Hardware 2 will limit use of some features used in the first-gen Autopilot including automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. The good news, however; is that these features and more will be rolled out via over-the-air updates as they are validated.
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