Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Tesla Autopilot got a secret upgrade en-route to autonomy

Tesla Autopilot got a secret upgrade en-route to autonomy

Tesla is now seeking to raise about $1.5 billion to support the production of the Model 3 and has also slashed $3,000 off the price of the Model X electric SUV. When Tesla was courting equity investors during its initial public offering roadshow, he described the company as a "freaking technology velociraptor" set to revolutionise the world. It's unclear if the driver-facing cabin camera spotted on the Model 3, which Tesla told us wasn't on its other cars, will also be added at some point.

Now we do! Elon Musk let it slip during a conference call that the new electric sport sedan comes in 50 kWh and 75 kWh flavors.

But Tesla has yet to make an annual profit and its stock is a favourite among short-sellers, who continue to bet Tesla will fall short of its shareholders' high hopes. Junk-rated companies have taken advantage of insatiable appetite for yield by stripping protections that investors would have insisted upon in another era, and buyers may not bother amid the buzz that surrounds Musk's clean-energy ventures.

Musk said last week the company was considering debt to expand cash on hand. Let's say you placed an order for the Model 3 back in November previous year. Musk offhandedly dismissed concerns about Tesla Model 3 cancellations - orders now stand at about 455,000 compared to Musk's proclamations to the press of about 513,000 preorders - as inconsequential and that original numbers were "just a guess". That means it's a auto capable of driving in any road or weather condition without any human intervention.

"The nirvana is that we can make the auto and get paid for the vehicle before we have to pay our suppliers, which then the faster you grow, the faster your cash position grows", Musk said Wednesday. So here's the preposition - Tesla is hoping its new Model 3, launched in July as its least pricey auto, would propel it towards profitable, high-volume vehicle manufacturing.

The bond sale is the latest in a series of moves Tesla made to pad its coffers this year.

"There is a risk they could still run out of money", he said.

Weighing in 400kg lighter than its large sibling, the Model 3 Performance should hit 100km/h in less than 2.3 seconds.

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Information for this article was contributed by Molly Smith, Gabrielle Coppola, Sridhar Natarajan and Nabila Ahmed of Bloomberg News and by The Associated Press.

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