Tesla CEO Elon Musk held a press conference on Thursday to announce software updates to the Model S sedan and to tease some advanced self-driving features that will soon be available in Tesla vehicles.
Not surprisingly, he also stressed that Tesla is as much a technology company as it is a car company.
According to Musk, Teslas are built to be “rolling computers” that please their owners by being like new cars whenever the software is updated.
Forget new-car smell — Tesla delivers new-car code!
The software update is actually pretty interesting, in the sense that it increases the integration between Tesla’s cars and its Supercharger network. Tesla is unique: it controls both the user experience of its cars and its cars’ awareness of where they are relative to their refueling system.
The cars are smart, and the chargers are smart. It’s the Internet of things, people!
However, Tesla’s announcements today were hardly Earth-shattering. They represent yet another step in the incremental process of perfecting the Model S, and they reinforce the “we’re a Silicon Valley company” argument. And to Musk’s credit, he can geek-out on a software upgrade just as energetically as he can enthuse over a new Model S version with the assistance of a giant robot.
But on balance, Musk’s comments today reminded me of when Tesla announced a leasing program a few years back: important, but not really Big News.
So Tesla has slipped into one of its infrequent, cyclical boring phases.
Which is a good thing! The company is plenty exciting, but it can be exhausting for Tesla fans and the markets to obsessively monitor the company 24/7. From time to time, Musk & Co. need to consolidate. This is one of those times.
Why? Because if all goes according to plan, Tesla will launch its second vehicle in late 2015. This will be huge and could shatter the Earth.
Everyone needs a little slow time to prepare for something like that.
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