Tesla Plans to Take On Uber Using Its New Self-Driving Cars
And the company won't let you use your autonomous Tesla for any other ride-sharing service.
Tesla is working to start up a ride-sharing service called the Tesla Network that will compete against established companies like Uber and Lyft, the company stated on its website.
Though not disclosed in the automaker's press release that announced its new updated self-driving car technology, the news of the Tesla Network was shoved into a disclaimer for Autopilot on the company's website.
"Please note that using a self-driving Tesla for car sharing and ride hailing for friends and family is fine, but doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year," reads a paragraph on the company's website.
From the statement, it appears Tesla may attempt to lock owners out of full autonomy if they are caught using their cars for ride hailing and car-sharing services. Currently, it is unclear how the company will be capable of tracking that kind of usage in its vehicles. (We can't imagine it would be too difficult, however, since Tesla can pull system logs from its cars relatively easily.)
In Wednesday night's press release, the company wrote, "Full autonomy will enable a Tesla to be substantially safer than a human driver, lower the financial cost of transportation for those who own a car and provide low-cost on-demand mobility for those who do not." Though the automaker hasn't publicly connected the dots, it is likely that the Tesla Network would be a key part of that.
In July, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke in his "Master Plan, Part Deux" about a service that would allow Tesla owners to put their cars to work in a shared fleet of Tesla cars which could "generate income for you." It seems the Tesla Network might be that service.
Tesla was not immediately available for comment on this matter.