Leading electric car maker Tesla unveiled a new Model 3 on Thursday night. With a starting price of $35,000 (before federal tax credits), it is the most affordable car Tesla has made to date. Among its many high-tech features, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced all Model 3 cars will come with the Autopilot feature it first debuted in October, which allows Tesla cars steer themselves, change lanes, and even park themselves. Pre-orders are now available worldwide, with first deliveries expected towards the end of 2017.
With the affordable price tag and mass market appeal, the Tesla Model 3 might just be the car to usher driverless vehicles into the mainstream car market. The Autopilot feature may not be perfect right now, but Tesla presumably will have significantly improved it by the time this model ships.
The development in driverless cars is an important market trend that The Lab cares about (and included in the 2020 section of our Outlook 2016) because of the incredible amount of new media time it can potentially free up. The average daily commute time in the States is currently about 50 minutes. If and when driverless cars are adopted by mainstream car-owners, it would make it possible for media owners and advertisers to visually connect with consumers on the go through in-car media such as digital video and video gaming.
Source: The Verge
Header image courtesy of Tesla.com
Earlier today, Tesla released the much anticipated version 7.0 of its Model S software, an update that enables the car’s first self-driving features, first announced in October last year. The 7.0 release starts rolling out in the US tomorrow, and will proceed to Europe and Asia in the coming weeks. Although technically not a fully autonomous vehicle yet, the Tesla cars updated with the newest software will gain new features such as Autosteer, Auto Lane Change, and Autopark, all designed to assist drivers.
What Brands Need To Do
Autonomous cars have been developing at a rapid pace this year. We saw some major car manufacturers showcase prototypes of driverless cars at CES in January. But what Tesla showcased today is definitely more ready for the consumer market. Given this quick development, it probably won’t be long before autopilot driving can free drivers from steering wheels, at least partially. Brands should consider getting onto the in-car media platforms in order to capture this newly-gained idle attention of the drivers.
Earlier today, Tesla Motors’ CEO Elon Musk introduced a new dual-motor, all-wheel-drive version of its existing Model S sedan. More than just an update, the new D series features an autopilot program. Not to be confused with Google’s autonomous cars, this feature deploys embedded radars, cameras and sonar to create “a protective cocoon” aimed at warning of impending collisions. Even more impressively, this driver assist feature is now included at no extra cost on all Model S sedans.