Tesla, which recently ventured into battery systems, could turn its attention on the ride-sharing business. Powered by its autonomous vehicles, this would pit the EV firm against companies like Uber and Lyft. The notion of Tesla mulling over the ride-sharing business came into knowledge during the company’s second quarter 2015 earnings call last week.
Tesla CEO waiting for right time?
Recently, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick commented that he will be interested in buying all the autonomous cars that Tesla can make by the end of 2020. Basing his question on this, Adam Jones from Morgan Stanley straightaway directed his question at Tesla CEO Elon Musk, asking, “Would Tesla cut out the middle man and sell on-demand electric directly from the company on its own platform?”
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After waiting for a while, Musk replied, “That is an insightful question,” adding, “I don’t think I should answer it.” No response from Musk could imply that the CEO has plans of entering the ride-sharing arena but does not want to discuss it at the moment. Tesla’s CEO perhaps could be waiting for when technological and regulatory hurdles are taken care of.
Other important points covered during the call were information about the upcoming car from the company – the Model X. Before the end of August, the company will make live the online configurator for the SUV. In early September, the company has scheduled the first deliveries of the crossover. On the topic of autonomous cars, the company informed investors and analysts that beta testing of Tesla’s autopilot will begin Aug. 15. This technology enables a car to drive on the highway and park itself and is expected to be released either late September or early October.
Carpooling segment heating up
Uber, no doubt, is the most popular ride-sharing company presently, but it may get a fight from Tesla or Google. Waze, a navigation app from Google that directs users to a particular destination, is now being tested with a new feature of guiding drivers towards a paying passenger to carpool with on the way to or from work. The Israeli firm, which was bought by Google for $1 billion in 2013, has developed new carpooling service RideWith and is already testing it in Tel Aviv.