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In 2023, Tesla looks to launch a self-driving technology that could set the company on its way to achieving full driving autonomy.
According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the leading EV maker could launch its fully self-driving technology in 2023. Musk added that Tesla’s projected autonomous driving tech would generate significant profits to counterbalance some of its margin pressure. The Texas-based electric vehicle manufacturer is currently bearing the brunt of aggressive price cuts on Tesla cars in the US, Europe, and China.
This is the fourth consecutive year Musk promised that Tesla would achieve self-driving. Although the company failed to meet these expectations in previous years, its CEO thinks, “we’ll do it this year”.
CEO Provides Insight into Projected Tesla 2023 Self-Driving Technology
Speaking on a conference call, Musk explained that the Tesla self-driving technology slated for 2023 is not entirely autonomous. According to him, vehicles equipped with this technology would still require driver supervision. Musk’s disclosure could be due to the current technology invoking legal and regulatory scrutiny in light of crashes. Nonetheless, the outspoken chief executive still believes that Tesla is on the right path toward achieving total driving autonomy. As Musk put it:
“The test version of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology software will be two steps forward, one step back between releases, but the trend is very clear towards full self-driving, towards full autonomy.”
Furthermore, Musk doubled down on the potential value that autonomous technology would yield for Tesla. According to him, Tesla has a very unique strategic advantage if self-driving pans out in 2023. Musk believes that regardless of the price cuts, Tesla would be “worth a hello of a lot more in the future than it is now”.
Tesla’s chief financial officer Zachary Kirkhorn touched on the impact of the company’s price cuts and other related developments, saying:
“The automotive margin in the first quarter was hurt not only by price cuts but also by increased deferred revenue for FSD software. This deferral should get recognized once some of the software catches up.”
The EV company charges up to $15,000 for its FSD software and tweaked some inherent features of the technology in its cars late last year. These changes included stripping ultrasonic sensors from Tesla Model Y and 3 electric vehicles and suspending ‘smart summon’ and ‘auto park’ features. Buyers may expect more from an actual full self-driving release from Tesla in 2023.
Tesla Q1 2023 Earnings
Yesterday Tesla posted its first-quarter earnings report, revealing a substantial drawdown year-over-year (YoY). The company’s quarterly margin came in lower than expected, which was mainly due to its aggressive price-cutting for Models S, X, Y, and 3. Tesla also identified the “underutilization of new factories” and increased production costs as reasons for its Q1 earnings drop.
However, the company’s revenue for the quarter and reported earnings per share (EPS) aligned with analysts’ estimates. For the first three months of 2023, Tesla raked in $23.33 billion in revenue compared to the consensus estimate of $23.21 billion. In addition, the EV manufacturing giant also saw an EPS of 85 cents adjusted versus the 85 cents that analysts expected.