In a move which has caught the headlines, but should not necessarily be surprising, Tesla has today advertised a job listing for an advanced driver assistance systems controls engineer. This is effectively Tesla's first move into the area of autonomous driving which is commonplace across the range of luxury traditional automobiles available today. It looks as though Tesla now believes it has the electronic motor system in place and is now looking to luxury additions to the Model S in particular.
While this is one area in which Tesla has yet to focus any significant funding you can bet your bottom dollar that when the company does decide to do something, funding is no problem.
Will this enhance Tesla's offerings?
There is no doubt that those acquiring luxury traditional vehicles expect all other mod cons including cruise control, lane departure warning, semiautonomous driving modes, and other such novelties. So far, and quite rightly, Tesla has focused more of its funding and its efforts on creating an electric vehicle which is better than any other in the market and now it is looking to develop that even further.
While many experts believe that the Model S will be the initial test car for the new autonomous driving solution, can we expect new offerings in the short to medium term?
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "There is speculation of an air aluminium battery pack which could give electric vehicles journey capacity in excess of 1000 miles. Would this make a real difference for you?"
Luxury cars for a luxury company
At this moment in time the main focus within Tesla, so we are led to believe, is to deliver an affordable EV by 2017. Today's advertisement seems to suggest that the company also has other plans going on in the background, and even though it is a leader in the electric vehicle sector it is not about to sit back on its laurels. There been no suggestions of further luxury Tesla vehicles in the short term but this is a company which somehow manages to maintain secrecy despite being under the brightest of lights - we should not be surprised at any developments in the short to medium term.
There are few companies, and few Chief Executive Officers, who would even attempt to tackle both the luxury end and the affordable end of any market. When you also consider the financial graveyard which is the electric vehicle industry of years gone by, this is certainly a brave move.
Should we expect autonomous driving solutions in the future?
While the likes of Nissan, Mercedes and Audi already offer an array of autonomous driving solutions in their traditional vehicles, nobody has really yet released a system for the electric vehicle market. If, as looks highly likely, Tesla is one of the first to introduce this into the EV market we can also expect those with experience in this particular area to follow suit with their EV portfolios.
Autonomous driving looks relatively straightforward compared to the array of ideas and suggestions about future modes of transport. We have seen an array of new and innovative ideas for the future, none of which have yet seen the light of day, although it is likely that autonomous driving will become more commonplace at the luxury end of the EV market.