Now it’s probably time to focus more on that self-driving tech

Musk recently announced that the Cybertruck will be its last new model for the time being and it plans to focus more on future technologies. This makes sense because Tesla already has a strong lineup without a single dead product in it. It also has a lot of technologies that are still vaguely in their beta phase and several models that it actually has to bring to market (Tesla Roadster, Tesla Semi, Model Y, and now, the Cybertruck.) So, it looks like Tesla will now be focused on its exiting productions and technology over the next few years. If that’s the case, will the full self-driving tech finally be developed and deployed in all its vehicles by the end of 2020?

Tesla Will Look To Roll Out Its Full Self-Driving Technology Soon

Tesla is looking to grant select customers early access to the “feature complete” version of its autonomous technology.

So, what are we looking at here? For starters, there’s the full self-driving tech, which got even better when Tesla developed its own computer chip. In most cases, developers offer their software based on an existing chip architecture. Here, Tesla built a new chip from scratch specifically for its self-driving technology requirements. The company claims that it is 21 times faster than the Nvidia chips it was using earlier. Essentially, it is a 260-square-millimeter piece of silicon with six billion transistors built in, which Musk calls “the best chip in the world.”

Throwing light on this, Elon said the car will be able to drive from the owner’s home to their workplace without intervention. But the drivers will still need to be ready to take control if the car runs into a problem. If all goes as planned, Tesla is looking to roll out this technology by mid-2020. Even after all the bugs are sorted out, owners will still have to stay engaged with the car at least until the end of 2020, when the tech will get further improvements. If you booked the Cybertruck or have checked out the page, you’ve probably seen that Tesla is offering the Full Self-Driving tech package for an additional $7,000.

Smart Summon Is Not So Smart Right Now

The Smart Summon is the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons. Check out any videos of this tech on YouTube and you’ll find more fails than successful attempts. The feature has drawn a lot of flak as a lot of owners have reported bugs in the system. Within a month of rolling the feature (it came out in September 2019, by the way), Tesla said that the feature has been used over a million times. Basically, Smart Summon is a feature wherein you summon your Tesla from a distance of up to 200 feet. The cars equipped with this feature will navigate through all obstacles and come to the owner; at least that’s what they’re supposed to do. There have been a lot of instances where either the car has smashed itself into a pillar while squeezing out of a tight spot or hasn’t stopped when other vehicles were passing by, plus a lot of other hiccups. So, fixing this will probably be should be on Tesla’s priority agenda as well.

Tesla Could Speed Up Development of Its Million-Mile Battery

The Arrival of the Cybertruck Signals Tesla's Shift to Technology Over New Models Exterior
- image 873128

There are a few things from the Tesla Autonomy Day held in April that we can see coming next year.

The most anticipated thing is not just a piece of technology, but also a product – the million-mile battery.

Tesla cars are built to last 1,000,000 miles, but the batteries don’t last that long. Musk had previously said that battery modules last between 300,000 and 500,000 miles. However, a new Tesla battery pack is in development and that could be part of the “unexpected” things. It will, supposedly, last almost one million miles. Jeff Dahn, the battery researcher for Tesla, said that the new unit is a Li-Ion battery cell with a next-generation “single crystal” NMC cathode and a new advanced electrolyte. After testing these cells extensively, they think that the battery could power an electric car “for over 1.6 million kilometers 1 million miles.”

Tesla Cybertruck Range
Version 0-60 sprint Top speed Range
Singe Motor RWD 6.5 seconds 110 mph 250+ miles
Dual Motor AWD 4.5 seconds 120 mph 300+ miles
Tri Motor AWD 2.9 seconds 130 mph 500+ miles

Tesla Robotaxis Are Definitely Coming

The Arrival of the Cybertruck Signals Tesla's Shift to Technology Over New Models Exterior
- image 873121

Tesla’s ride-hailing service has also been due for a long time now.

This robotaxi service, however, is actually dependent on how successful the Full Self-Driving tech and the million-mile batteries are.

Musk has also warned that the prices of electric cars will go up significantly when Robotaxis become a reality. Tesla will try to release this as soon as possible because it will earn the company a lot more in revenue than what it is currently making.

What’s more, Musk had earlier announced that it would make the company worth $500 billion; which isn’t really backed by any analyst out there. The reason as to why Tesla will earn more and the prices of Tesla cars will go higher is because instead of receiving tens of thousands of dollars upfront on every sale, Robotaxis will bring in a continuous inflow. And if a Robotaxi can have a battery that lasts for a million miles… well, you can do the math.

Plaid Will Certainly Be An “Unexpected Announcement”

The Arrival of the Cybertruck Signals Tesla's Shift to Technology Over New Models Exterior
- image 873114
Full-scale release of the Plaid powertrain could be one of the major technological announcements coming from Tesla in the next year or two.

We first heard about it during the launch of the new Roadster. In the Roadster, the Plaid powertrain helps the car dispatch the 0-60 mph interval in 1.9 seconds. In the Cybertruck, Motor Trend estimates that the Plaid-powertrain will produce 800 horses and 1,000 pound-feet of torque.

Just like the Plaid-powered Model S and X, the Cybertruck will have one motor on the front axle and two at the rear. The Plaid-powered truck will help increase the truck’s off-road abilities by a huge margin and opens a lot of possibilities. While the standard variants could feature just the locking differential, the Plain powertrain equipped in the Cybertruck could come with torque-vectoring as well. The Plaid-powered Model S took to the Nurburgring recently and crushed the Porsche Taycan with a lap time that was 20 seconds shorter than its Stuttgart rival. These, however, are unofficial lap timings.

Tesla Cybertruck Single Motor RWD 400-500 HP
Tesla Cybertruck Dual Motor AWD 690 HP
Tesla Cybertruck trim-motor AWD 800 HP

I’m Looking Forward To Solar Wings Becoming A Reality Soon

Self-charging EVs might also be the next big thing that Tesla could venture into.

The reflective Tonneau cover on the Cybertruck was a sign of something new. This confirmed that there will be solar panels that will help aid the truck’s range. This information was confirmed when Musk replied to a Twitter user saying that there will be an option to add solar panels that generate up to extra 15 miles of range per day, approximately. Adding to it, he also mentioned that the Cybertruck could receive “fold-out solar wings” that would increase the range by 30-40 miles per day. But, what’s to say this tech won’t make it to other Tesla models? After all, the EV industry is not averse to solar energy retention, but a reliable solution was yet to arrive. Tesla could streamline this with solar panels and wings. Fold-out solar wings could be the next big thing in charging vehicles and who’s better than Tesla to take lead on making it a reality?

What do you think could be the other technology announcements? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Source: Electrek

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert -
Sidd joined the team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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