Elon Musk recently unveiled Tesla’s newest car, the Model X.
The Model X looks like a great car. But while Tesla didn’t advertise it as such, the Model X might actually be a sneak peek at the future of driverless transportation.
Days after the event, Gavin Sheridan, a “very” small shareholder in Tesla, surmised in a Medium post that the new features in the Tesla Model X weren’t just designed to be cool, but they were actually designed to work for a premium self-driving car that could be optimised as a driverless taxi. After all, Tesla doesn’t care much about making super cool electric cars (though it does that very well); its company mission is “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport.”
To support his case, Sheridan mentions four new features in the Model X to explain how the new Tesla car could be “the ultimate self-driving taxi, or the ultimate human/self-driving rental car, or both.”
- Doors that open when you approach and close once you get in
- Electronic seats that can move and configure themselves to fit any group of passengers
- Falcon doors that allow anyone to easily get in and out of the car
- More room to “stow” things under the rear seats
On that last feature, Sheridan says “when Musk uses the word ‘stow’ I think airline. And when I think airline I think passengers. And when I think Model X I think taxi — with lots of room for your bags — with no driver in the front seat.”
Based on these features, Sheridan believes the Model X could be one of the first great autonomous cars: where the doors open when you approach, the seats can configure thesmelves based on the number of people booking the car, and the doors allow easy access with plenty of extra storage for bags and luggage.
“If I’m correct — and I think I am — the future for Model X owners won’t involve them being the only drivers of their own cars,” Sheridan said. “It will involve them renting out their cars to everyone else for a price — with Tesla taking a cut — and the car driving itself.”
Sheridan’s logic seems sound — after all, these driverless features could be easily activated with a software update, like the one coming this Thursday — and his thought process is well worth a read. Check out his Medium post on the Model X here.
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