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Elon Musk teases a new autonomous ‘Tesla Mobility’ service


Tesla CEO Elon was in Norway today where he gave a keynote address at a government sponsored conference on ‘Future transport solutions’. Musk gave a quick presentation and then sat down for a public talk with Minister of Transport and Communications, Ketil Solvik-Olsen (picture above).

His presentation was titled:”How to reduce global warming through renewable energy production and consumption“. He shared his views about the necessities to accelerate the transition to a post fossil fuel economy in a similar way as he did during his Paris talk last year.

When talking about trying to avoid overcrowding cities with personal vehicles, the Minister of Transport asked a question that got Musk talking:

“Can we expect Tesla to revolutionize mass transit when it comes to buses?”

Musk answered:

“We have an idea for something which is not exactly a bus, but would solve the density problem in intercity situations. I think we need to rethink the whole concept of public transport and create something that people are actually gonna like a lot more. I don’t want to talk too much about it.”

He was asked if he was talking about the Hyperloop and quickly said no.

“I have to be careful with what I say these days. What happen is that I’ll make an off-hand comment with a group like this and then it will be a small thing in a page 3 article in Norwegian newspaper and then international press will seize on that and turn into a big headline.”

Too late. He kept talking about the idea Tesla is working on:

“There’s a new type of car or vehicle that I think would be really great (to solve vehicle density in cities problem) and actually take people to their final destination and not just to the bus stop.”

He then added that autonomous vehicles are key to this service.

Last year, Musk refused to answer a question about Uber and a followup sparked rumors that Tesla is working on a Uber-like service with autonomous vehicles. Although he doesn’t want big headlines about this new comment, he doesn’t seem to work very hard toward silencing these rumors.

Two recent studies looked into the costs, potential profit and market share of using fully autonomous cars to start a mobility on demand service. In their models, they used a hypothetical fleet of fully-autonomous Tesla Model 3’s operating in Austin, TX, and found that it would be highly profitable and obtain significant market share.

Gallery of pictures from the talk:

Pictures courtesy of Samferdselsdepartementet, 21. april 2016

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  1. Walt - 7 years ago

    Que Model Y.

  2. Bill - 7 years ago

    I think you mean “seize” on that, not “cease” on that.

  3. md - 7 years ago

    He also said the gen 4 will be even cheaper.!/video/127064/elon-musk-i-norge-se-foredraget-hans

  4. Kirk Hilles - 7 years ago

    Once fully-self-driving cars the norm, there will be a whole ton of Uber-like services. Uber may win, Tesla may win, but I bet there will be a dozen services all battling since its an easy business to start. Build an App, buy a car, let the car run and earn $ per mile. People that own self-driving vehicles will rent them out to earn a little extra. Eventually, it’ll be a company that will do it for low margins, but on a large scale with thousands of “stations” for refilling/recharging and hundreds or thousands of mechanics and workers.

    • Paul Scott - 7 years ago

      I signed up early for a Model 3 with exactly this in mind. I’m getting the high performance variant, and as soon as it delivers, I’ll immediately lease it to an uber/lyft or whatever service I feel will do the best, and have them operate the car as a business while paying me a monthly lease payment. They handle all insurance and energy and keep the car 24/7. When I need a car, maybe once a month since I ride a Zero motorcycle for almost all my needs, I’ll have my own private driver.

      The Tesla eventually pays for itself, and then I have a steady income stream after that. It’s a free car!

  5. philippe Atlan - 7 years ago

    When autonomous car will drive us from one place to another, no one will ever be late !! On the other hand, their will be a lot of work gone and not only taxis!!! A new society will have to evolve from this and the sooner the better!!! Anyway it’s the right direction to go because most of the people drive their car less than an hour a day!!

    • tomhume1 - 7 years ago

      Not to mention – most cars fit 5 people and have one person – the driver – in them for the majority of their time on the road. Extremely inefficient!

  6. Bubba2000 - 7 years ago

    In most large and medium cities, especially in Europe, public transportation is faster and cheaper than driving. The subways and many of street cars are electric. People use bicycles too, some are electric. May be add electric monorails?

  7. notmyrealname - 7 years ago

    Pod-Bus. A large base vehicle that travels to-and-fro along major roads highways. The large vehicle has ports to accept individualised pods that detach and travel to the desired location. Once the pod is empty it returns to a base vehicle and docks to recharge.

    When a person needs a pod they just order one on their smartphone app. The pod arrives in about 5 minutes or so.

    • pepetideo - 7 years ago

      how would that be any better than full autonomous cars? after all if each pod is able to do the last mile journey to your home to take home and back to the pod-bus what is the point of the bus itself?

      I think he is just describing a uber-like service tesla will develop with a fully autonomous tesla model 3.

  8. Tim Osman - 7 years ago

    It’s called google cars. They will do what Uber does without the drivers.

  9. Colin - 7 years ago

    How will the autonomous cars/service solve intercity density problem? A autonomous car is sill a car that takes space on the road.

    • Paul Scott - 7 years ago

      When commuters order a car, they can choose a private car to themselves for price X, but if they don’t mind sharing the ride, the cost will be X-. The cost will be significantly less due to the economies of car sharing. Most folks will opt for the cheaper service. This is essentially the great carpooling solution we tried to get to with car pool lanes, but it never happened in sufficient numbers. Carsharing will be ubiquitous because of the extremely low cost.


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