Musk promised shareholders that Tesla drivers will be able to use self-driving features in their vehicles without intervention sometime next year.
“Every car made since October 2016 is capable of full autonomy with the replacement of the computer alone. We’ll still need regulatory approval but the capability will be there. This massively increases the value of the car. In fact, I think it’s basically financially insane to buy anything except an electric car that is upgradeable to autonomy,” he added.
He said that Tesla is on target to grow its entire “fleet” by 60% to 80% this year, and that the company could be cash-flow positive while growing at that rate. He was joined by Tesla CTO and co-founder JB Straubel to thank teams that built the company’s battery tech and massive US battery plant, the Gigafactory, co-founded with Panasonic. Musk and Straubel also showed a picture of a green field in Europe, joking that this would one day be their Gigafactory in Europe. Musk said Tesla is planning to establish a car factory on each continent.
Finally, Musk hinted that his company has designed a submarine car, which he had called an “aquatic car,” like the one from the 1977 James Bond movie, “The Spy Who Loved Me.”
Musk said, “You can actually have a submarine car — it’s like technically possible. I think the market for this will be small. Small but enthusiastic.” The CEO also clarified, “It would be a bit of a distraction but maybe we’ll make one as a show car.”
The inventor is a big fan of James Bond movies. In his personal life, Musk is the owner of the “Wet Nellie,” which was made as a custom submarine by Perry Oceanographic Inc. for use in “The Spy Who Loved Me.” The car is shaped like the Lotus Esprit S1, a sports car.