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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nasdaq  >  Tesla, Inc.    TSLA


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Tesla's release of new 'self-driving' software closely watched by U.S. regulator

10/22/2020 | 10:06pm EST
FILE PHOTO: Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk walks next to a screen showing an image of Tesla Model 3 car during an opening ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai

(Reuters) - The U.S. auto safety regulator said on Thursday it was closely watching Tesla Inc's release of a software version intended to allow its cars to drive themselves, saying it stood ready to protect the public against safety risks.

Tesla on Tuesday night released a beta, or test version, of what it calls a "Full Self Driving" software upgrade to an undisclosed number of "expert, careful" drivers. The release prompted online posts by excited recipients who shared video snippets of their car driving apparently autonomously on city streets at night.

During a Tesla earnings call on Wednesday, Chief Executive Elon Musk said the latest upgrade was planned to be widely released by the end of this year, with the system becoming more robust as it collected more data.

"NHTSA has been briefed on Tesla's new feature, which represents an expansion of its existing driver assistance system. The agency will monitor the new technology closely and will not hesitate to take action to protect (the) public against unreasonable risks to safety," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement.

NHTSA in July said its special crash investigation team had "looked into 19 crashes involving Tesla vehicles where it was believed some form of advanced driver assistance system was engaged at the time of the incident."

Musk for years has promised self-driving for the company's vehicles but missed several self-imposed deadlines.

Researchers, regulators and insurance groups say true self-driving is still years away and more complex than companies anticipated several years ago. They have criticized Tesla's promotion of its existing semi-automated Autopilot system as dangerously misleading.

A consortium of self-driving technology companies, Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), which includes Ford Motor Co, General Motors Co and Google's self-driving unit Waymo, criticized Tesla's approach.

"Public road testing is a serious responsibility and using untrained consumers to validate beta-level software on public roads is dangerous and inconsistent with existing guidance and industry norms," PAVE said in a Thursday statement.

Autopilot and similar advanced driver assistance systems can provide steering, braking and acceleration support under limited circumstances, generally on highways.

Tesla's website describes the new software release as "Autosteer on City Streets," saying the system requires active driver supervision and does not make the car autonomous. https://www.tesla.com/support/autopilot

Tesla owners can purchase "Full Self Driving" for $8,000 in hopes of eventually receiving the upgrade. Musk said early Thursday the price would rise by $2,000 on Monday, but later in the day tweeted U.S. price hikes would be pushed to Thursday next week. Similar price increases will apply in other countries as the test version was released there, he added.

On Twitter, Tesla owners receiving the test version posted videos of their experience, claiming the car "literally sees everything," setting indicators on its own and navigating turns even without clear lane markings. https://bit.ly/3kpgvUu

They also posted a picture of the software update release notes, which said the system "may do the wrong thing at the worst time," urging drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and pay extra attention.

Reuters could not reach Tesla for comment on NHTSA's statement and to confirm the authenticity of the release note.

(Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Steve Orlofsky and Richard Chang)

By Tina Bellon and David Shepardson

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY -3.92% 9.08 Delayed Quote.-2.37%
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY -2.15% 45.46 Delayed Quote.24.21%
TESLA, INC. 3.35% 574 Delayed Quote.586.06%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2020 30 702 M - -
Net income 2020 1 254 M - -
Net cash 2020 1 817 M - -
P/E ratio 2020 459x
Yield 2020 -
Capitalization 544 B 544 B -
EV / Sales 2020 17,7x
EV / Sales 2021 12,2x
Nbr of Employees 48 016
Free-Float 80,0%
Duration : Period :
Tesla, Inc. Technical Analysis Chart | TSLA | US88160R1014 | MarketScreener
Technical analysis trends TESLA, INC.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 37
Average target price 385,13 $
Last Close Price 574,00 $
Spread / Highest target 0,70%
Spread / Average Target -32,9%
Spread / Lowest Target -86,1%
EPS Revisions
Elon Reeve Musk Chief Executive Officer & Director
Robyn M. Denholm Chairman
Zachary Kirkhorn Chief Financial Officer
Kimbal Musk Director
Ira M. Ehrenpreis Independent Director
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