Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has scheduled a major media event at 7:00 p.m. PST at Hawthorne Airport near Los Angeles. What is the EV maker going to unveil? Well, Elon Musk has revealed nothing except that it would involve “D and something else.” Investors are speculating, but some analysts believe they have it figured out.
One analyst has proof of what Tesla may unveil
Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry told MarketWatch that he has proof that D is for driverless. Chowdhry recently spotted a new Model S sedan near a restaurant in Fremont, California. It sports a sensor on the front bumper. Another photo of the rearview mirror shows what Chowdhry believes to be a sensor and two cameras.
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The vehicle was built in October (just a few days ago). It has “semi-autonomous driver assistance features.” Trip Chowdhry said the feature will most likely be updated over the air. The analyst believes another surprise could be a prototype of Model 3, Tesla’s mass market car. It will help the company secure more investments for its Gigafactory in Nevada.
The company is also expected to unveil an all-wheel drive variant of its Model S sedan. It will attract buyers in cold weather regions of North America and Europe. These features explain why Tesla founder Elon Musk has been teasing ‘D.’ It could be driverless or all-wheel drive. Barclays analysts argue that today’s announcement will involve two ‘Ds’: a dual motor Model S and driver assistance systems.
Tesla may add collision avoidance systems to Model S
Barclays’ predictions make sense. Almost every high-end luxury car today comes with all-wheel drive. Tesla can easily fit all-wheel drive to Model S considering its forthcoming Model X will sport this feature. The ‘something else’ part may be an automatic collision avoidance feature. Collision avoidance technologies such as lane-keeping assist and pre-collision braking could pave the way for autonomous driving.
The camera and sensors on the rearview mirror could be used in collision avoidance features. Tonight we will find our how accurate these analysts’ predictions are.
Tesla shares jumped 1.77% to $263.87 at 10:56 AM EDT on Thursday.