Tesla to take on ride-sharing with autonomous vehicles?

August 10, 2015

Tesla is reportedly mulling over its own ride-sharing business, powered by its own autonomous vehicles, going head-to-head against companies like Uber and Lyft.

The insight came during Tesla’s Q2 earnings call this week, when a Morgan Stanley pointedly asked Tesla CEO Elon Musk about recent statements from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick about wanting to purchase every single example of the 500,000 autonomous cars Tesla plans to build by 2020. Would Tesla “cut out the middle man and sell on-demand electric mobility services directly from the company on its own platform?” Jones asked.

“That is an insightful question,” Musk replied, after a deafening four-second silence, “I don’t think I should answer it.” However, by not answering the question it seems that Musk already has, implying that he is already considered the possibility of entering the ride-sharing arena.

Other salient points gleaned from the call include information about the Model X, whose online configurator will go live before the end of the month. The first deliveries of the crossover will take place in early September. Meanwhile, the entry-level premium Model 3 will introduce a new motor. Speaking of autonomous cars, Tesla’s Autopilot, which allows the car to self-drive on the highway and park itself, will begin beta testing August 15 and will be released late September or early October.

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