As we saw with Tesla's announcement yesterday that all of its future vehicles will have self-driving hardware built in, Autopilot is fairly advanced right now. The video above shows a Model X driving through Palo Alto, and finding a parking spot all on its own (even skipping a handicap parking space, since it knows it can't park there, a move that implies that you'll be able to change that in a setting). As for the car-sharing angle, well, that's still a bit murky, but here's what the master plan says:
That sounds cool, but what does it have to do with Autopilot? Well, as Electrek notes, along with yesterday's announcement, Tesla updated the information pages about this car sharing plan. The short version is that everything Musk said is true, but there's a caveat. You won't be able to send your Model 3 out to make money for you using Uber or Lyft. Instead, Tesla says, "Please note also that using a self-driving Tesla for car sharing and ride hailing for friends and family is fine, but doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year."
You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you're at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost. This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla. Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not.
In cities where demand exceeds the supply of customer-owned cars, Tesla will operate its own fleet, ensuring you can always hail a ride from us no matter where you are.
So, that's something we learned from part 2 of the Model 3 reveal. If you think there won't be a part three, well...
@AlternateJones of course— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 20, 2016