Tesla shares have been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride this year with dips and recoveries and on Friday, shares closed $600. However, despite the fluctuations, there are still good things to look forward to from the car manufacturer in the next quarter of 2021.
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk made announcements via his social media account regarding the Cybertruck release and the expansion of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta.
FULL SELF-DRIVING (FSD) BETA
Musk tweeted: “If you want the Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta downloaded to your car, let us know. Doubling beta program size now with 8.2 & probably 10X size with 8.3. Still be careful, but it’s getting mature.”
The carmaker said that they would also add a “Download Beta” button to the media displays in the Tesla vehicles because demand has been so high. FSD Beta was launched in October 2020 to selected Tesla owners through its Early Access Program. However, Musk says Tesla is handling the software update “very cautiously” and warns drivers to be careful as the software is still maturing. Drivers are cautioned to always keep their hands on the steering wheel and to remain alert in case they need to assume control of their Tesla at any moment.
Tesla collects the data from the FSD Beta feature to continually improve performance of the software by making tweaks and enhancements based on the feedback from the 1,000 vehicles using the software. Musk reiterated the term “Beta” is still used so that drivers don’t get complacent in using it and to remind them it is still in effect being tested.
The availability of the FSD Beta will depend on region due to regulatory approvals by governing bodies and also based on Tesla’s own testing and development and testing. Tesla’s Director of AI has opened it up to other drivers stating that anyone interested in getting FSD Beta can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tesla first unveiled the Cybertruck in November 2019 but there’s been little news on its progress. Although Musk has said previously in interviews that production was delayed due to various issues, it seems we can start looking forward the imminent release of the updated all-electric pickup truck. And it is anyone's guess what the final Cybertruck will look like.
Gary Black, former CEO of Aegon Asset Management, tweeted Musk and asked: “any update on the Cybertruck’s first delivery date, cool features or options? Patiently waiting. $tsla.”
Musk took the opportunity to respond and said: “Update probably in Q2. Cybertruck will be built at Giga Texas, so focus right now is on getting that beast built.”
Tesla’s latest Giga factory near Austin, Texas, is still in its construction phase but expected to be operational later this year. And as for the futuristic-looking Cybertruck, it’s release will be welcomed by eager Tesla fans and will help the US carmaker get up to speed with rivals gaining some ground in the electric pickup market.
Earlier in January, the Tesla boss said that the Cybertruck designed was finalized and as soon as the assembly line was ready, it would go into production. He said "We're no longer iterating at the design center level or design level. We've got the designs fixed.”
The base price for the Tesla Cybertruck single-motor, rear-wheel-drive is $39,900, the dual motor all-wheel drive version starts at $49,900 and the top of the line tri-motor all-wheel-drive Cybertruck will be around $69,900.
The tri-motor version will have an estimated output of 800 horsepower and 1000 pound-feet of torque, which is sufficient muscle to propel the electric truck to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and tow up to 14,000 pounds.
What makes the Cybertruck so unique, it’s not just the eccentric design we saw in November 2019, but the fact that its exoskeleton is to be made from the same stainless steel material used to build the SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft. Driving a vehicle that’s robust as a spaceship is quite something!