As part of the reveal of his ‘Master Plan Part 2’, CEO Elon Musk elaborated on the automaker’s plan for the role of car ownership and ride-sharing in the future of the company.
Musk confirmed that once Tesla achieves full autonomy and it is approved by regulators (2 to 3 years based on his previous statements), the automaker plans for Tesla owners to be able to loan their car to a ‘shared autonomous fleet’ and make money while they are not using it.
Here’s the relevant part of the ‘Master Plan‘:
“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’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost. This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla. Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not.”
While a lot of people envision a future dominated by ride-sharing and where car ownership is virtually nonexistent once all cars are self-driving, Musk previously stated that he believes car ownership is here to stay.
The plan highlights how Tesla sees car ownership in this future and for the most part, it holds up.
He also added that Tesla will operate its own fleet parallel to the Tesla owners shared fleet in cities “where demand exceeds the supply of customer-owned cars”. It will ensure that people using the app will always be able to hail a ride.