It is not fully announced yet, but Elon’s twitter channel is an official Tesla communication channel, and what’s been tweeted we can see as a pre-announcement by Tesla.
What was pre-announced is that the $25,000 model is coming in about 2 years. At least one version of it will not have driving controls like a steering wheel and pedals. I think that implies that the complete Full Self Driving (FSD) package is included in the $25,000.
Many people my age and a bit older still drive. I can decide on a whim to drive to Berlin, Paris, or any other place in Europe. I am the exception to the rule. For most elderly people, the driving is limited to urban settings and the surrounding rural areas. They do not go more than 15–20 miles from home. For visiting bigger cities and family/friends further away, they use public transport if available. Otherwise, they depend on family and friends to drive them.
People past retirement not only have the time to visit old friends and extended family; they also have the urge to do it. The time they have left to visit them is diminishing.
A friend just found her dream house. It is 130 miles from where she lives now. Knowing that FSD would be available in a couple of years made the decision to move so far away from friends, clubs, and children a lot easier.
This small private room on wheels can be a great liberator, like the pill and social security were in the past. The advantages of having a personal carrier instead of a robotaxi are legion. When I realize I should do some shopping when passing the mall, my bags are in the car. When a rain shower is passing when I get out, there is an umbrella. I have gloves for dirty work or when it gets unexpectedly cold, and a spare coat for the same reason. I have a tray with drinking water, a blanket for me or a passenger, tissues, spare plastic bags, etc.
A robotaxi to get from the airport or train station to your destination is okay. But robotaxies will never replace the private vehicle for people who can afford one. For just 25 grand, giving up so much luxury is a delusion of marketing managers who have dreams of the high rewards of every mile driven. The taxi business is a high-volume, low-margin business and will always be that way.
To get a private mobile room that can bring you to every place that is connected to your place of residence via the charging network is a dream coming true. I have no idea whether it will be a moneymaker like the Model 3 or Model Y, but it will be the Tesla with the biggest social impact.
For me, it will be a difficult choice between the FSD Model $25K (or whatever the name will be) or a FSD Cybertruck with a microwave and a bed to sleep in. As long as I can visit all the places and people I failed to visit when I was on the 40 week treadmill, both are great.
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