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Model 3 Reveal - "Cards Close to the Chest"

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by surfside, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. surfside

    surfside Member

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    I've been thinking about Elon's comment from the 4Q 2015 earnings call where he commented on the Model 3 reveal:

    Tyler Charles Frank - Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc. (Private Wealth Management)
    Okay. Then, a quick follow-up. There's been some rumors and commentary that the Model 3 launch may not be an actual full vehicle. Can you just talk about what we should expect at the launch event and at the end of March?

    Elon Reeve Musk - Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
    Yeah, we're trying to decide whether we should show all the cards or keep a few cards close to the vest, I haven't made decision yet.

    My guess/two cents: I think he is debating whether or not to reveal that Tesla has figured out all of the necessary hardware for fully autonomous driving, and that hardware is going to go into every Model 3. For those less familiar, he has mentioned on multiple occasions that additional sensors and redundancy will be necessary for fully autonomous vehicles. My guess is due in part to comments Elon made to Forbes in an interview from a couple months ago in December 2015, where he predicted that Tesla's cars will be capable of full autonomy in 2 years (does that timing seem to align nicely with a particular new product launch to anyone else?):

    "I think we have all the pieces, and it’s just about refining those pieces, putting them in place, and making sure they work across a huge number of environments—and then we’re done,” Musk told Fortune with assuredness during his commute to SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., where he is also CEO. “It’s a much easier problem than people think it is."

    The magic of Tesla's OTA updates is that even if all of the software programming hasn't been completed or the regulatory issues haven't been solved, assuming the car has all of the necessary hardware, Tesla can just "turn on" the functionality once these issues have been solved, which no other car company is capable of doing at the moment.

    Personally, I think if Tesla announces this, demand for this vehicle is going to be even greater than we are all expecting. Any thoughts / other suggestions as to what Elon might / might not be revealing?

    I'm curious as to what people think he might reveal versus what he might be holding back, and what the potential implications on TSLA might be.
     
  2. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    It's possible, but the one aspect I have trouble with:

    I don't believe that Tesla can include all the hardware in every car, giving the buyer the option to turn it on via a software update as it's done with the X and S.

    Full autonomous hardware would require many more sensors...several radars, several cameras, redundant systems, and possibly even lidar. Given the pricing of the Model 3, Tesla's margins are already going to be small. To include this hardware without a guarantee that the buyer will pay for it would reduce those margins significantly.

    For that reason I believe that, if the car has more autopilot hardware than S or X, it will only be included if it's purchased ahead of time. If it has similar autopilot capabilities as S/X, then I see it still being possible that they include the hardware and offer it as a software upgrade for those interested.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I should add that I'm not confident that the Model 3 will have full autonomous hardware. If anything I think it will be more like the current S/X hardware. I think full autonomous hardware will come first as a "luxury" option to the high end S/X models for a few years...and probably at 3-4x the price of the current Autopilot software upgrade.
     
  3. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Hmm. That's a very valid point, but Autopilot is one of Tesla's big advantages, and they're also trying to make cars less disposable than they have been historically.

    Maybe they'll include all the wiring and mounting points in every car, but only include the sensors if you buy them - making all cars upgradeable through a service center visit, but not forcing them to pay for a full set of sensors for every car out of the "$35k" profit margin?
    Walter
     
  4. surfside

    surfside Member

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    given we are getting closer to the event on thursday, i figured i would bump this topic -- i posted it right before TMC went down for maintenance and it didn't get much discussion (i mean wombat's post has more replies than this thread for goodness sake :D).

    outside of my full autopilot hardware speculation, other items that come to mind that they may or may not have considered revealing include:

    i) more elaborate details about range
    ii) they could have potentially revealed the SUV prototype (i know they have since publicly stated it will only be the sedan)

    any other thoughts on what cards elon could have been debating about whether or not to reveal?

    surfside
     
  5. doctoxics

    doctoxics Member

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    Below is my list for the Model 3 reveal, including full autonomous driving with a post-launch software update (post 6026 in the short-term TSLA price movements thread on 2-19-16).


    "My prediction for Model 3 specs:


    full autonomous driving within a year of launch (software update)

    0-60 in 5 seconds (see ya bolt)

    five star safety rating

    220 mile EPA rated range

    free super charging

    quiet interior

    superior handling and braking

    minimum service costs

    No car I know of can compete with these specs at the Model 3 price point."
     
  6. MitchJi

    MitchJi Active Member

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    Prototype Tesla Model S with potential next gen fully-autonomous Autopilot hardware and LiDAR spotted in California
    fully autonomous car doesn't sound that much more expensive, mostly chips at 100k-350k cars per year. Another cheaper option might be fully autonomous auto-pilot (the pilot could provide the redundancy ).
     
  7. Kenypowa

    Kenypowa Member

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    To me, after today's tweet, it seems the cards he mentioned during the conference call is not about the Model 3 itself, but rather on the Chinese or European factories and maybe GF2. Whatever surprise Tesla has for us for the Model 3 (whether it be Autopilot 2 or Uber Supercharging, they will be available on the Model S/X). It is safe to guess Model 3 will be stripped down version of Model S, and it won't have any special tech that are not standard on the Model S/X.

    On the other hand, new factories dedicating to the mass production of Model 3 in Asia and in Europe will be the ace in the sleeve. This is a bigger game changer than any new technology found in the Model 3. Tesla's mission objective #1 is to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport, and nothing brings it closer to fruition than making Model 3 in the world's 3 biggest markets (America, Asia, Europe).

    Elon Musk on Twitter

    Or it won't be announced this Thursday, but will be in the not too distant future.
     
  8. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    I'm absolutely sure that Tesla will be opening full manufacturing facilities in Asia and Europe in the next few years.

    This mitigates natural disaster risk and currency exchange rate risks.
     
  9. austinEV

    austinEV Active Member

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    One reveal "surprise" that they might also have, is positioning a loaded 3 as a different badging. A model 3 stripper might well have a 5s 0 to 60, but the bigger battery option, bigger motor and everything might rival or exceed a model S ludacrous. That loaded 3 might have some different body work too. It wouldn't really be that hard to have different panels.

    Concerning the sensors, I think that some will be standard for auto breaking. There is no way there will be any model 3 that just have no sensors of any kind, I don't see TM doing that. Either they will do the same thing, all cars have all sensors with SW enabled buy-up (expect the reveal to be 70% about that, if that is the case) or there will be 2 levels, the current model S/X hw level and an autonomous level with to-be-determined "full autonomy" hw. All this feeds my ongoing suspicion that this reveal will be followed fast by an S refresh cycle since they cannot really show any feature on the 3 that the S does not currently have without buyer revolt.
     
  10. surfside

    surfside Member

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    based on elon's recent tweets this afternoon, i'm feeling more confident that full autopilot hardware for the model 3 is likely the thing that is being held close to the chest.

    elon's first tweet:

    "Tomorrow is Part 1 of the Model 3 unveil. Part 2, which takes things to another level, will be closer to production."

    elon's response to a kid from the UK who asked about whether "we are going to see the car properly":

    "You will see the car very clearly, but some important elements will be added and some will evolve."

    my guess is that the autopilot hardware will evolve and the eventual ability to allow your model 3 be a part of a shared mobility platform will be added. will be interesting to see what elon hints at tomorrow night...

    surfside
     
  11. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    They can. I think -- I'm guessing here -- that what they've done is found an improved way to do the wiring. The many wiring harnesses with lots of loose attached cables are a nightmare in standard cars, including the Model S. Suppose that Tesla has figured out an efficient way to wire up all the data and low-power electrical supplies with "circuit board" style connections to pre-wired rigid "electronic blocks", with the wire routings placed in the car automatically during robotic assembly rather than loose wires threaded through holes. It could vastly improve the assembly cost of mass producing the car and allow for arbitrarily large numbers of sensors to be "plug-and-play" attached. (I don't think you could do this for the high-power components, but that's OK, we're talking sensors here.)

    If they haven't done this yet, Elon, you have my permission to use this idea.
     
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  12. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    The context of my comment was in regard to fully autonomous hardware. I continue to stand by it. Regardless, the bulk of the cost is in the sensors themselves (radar, lidar, ultrasonics, cameras, servos, etc)....not in the wiring.
     
  13. surfside

    surfside Member

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    a couple more thoughts i want to get down on paper....errr...cloud?

    elon's tweet following the model 3 event seemed to indicate that phase 2 was going to be a big deal: "Thanks for tuning in to the Model 3 unveil part 1! Part 2 is super next level, but that's for later..."

    then later in his impromptu twitter AMA:

    Brandon Valvo @BValvsRacing "@elonmusk The lack of dashboard/HUD is something that I don't think I could get used to. That's the only thing I don't like about the car."

    and elon's response: "@BValvsRacing It will make sense after part 2 of the Model 3 unveil"

    then i think the other two responses that fit with this line of reasoning are elon's responses about the weird squar-ish steering wheel:

    "@iKrivetko that's not the real steering system" and "@HBL_Cosmin Wait until you see the real steering controls and system for the 3. It feels like a spaceship."

    i personally think the potential for the model 3 to include fully autonomous capability makes the lack of dashboard / HUD on the model 3 make a lot more sense. elon is looking forward to when there is no traditional driver (autonomous driving) -- hence having the display in the middle of the car for everyone to see.

    in the meantime (e.g. until regulatory approvals are received for fully autonomous driving), i think elon has clued us in that the steering controls are going to be different than normal, and because elon is probably envisioning the model 3 having driver assisted autopilot at all times, which will require a different kind of engagement than with a traditional car.

    in any case, i would be interested to hear others' thoughts -- what else could part 2 of the unveil be that would make sense in the context of his comments on the topic?

    surfside
     
  14. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #14 ecarfan, Apr 5, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
    I agree that Model 3 reveal Part 2 will be primarily about the driver controls (and fill in more details about the car) but no matter how revolutionary the controls are, the car still has to be capable of being driven in the same manner as we have been driving cars for a century now: a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, brake pedal, and gear selector. You can't remove those things from the Model 3. You can supplement them with something amazing, but you can't remove them, government regulations won't allow it.

    I do think that some form of projected driver display does seem possible. But it will be an option, not a standard feature, not at the $35K price point.
     
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  15. surfside

    surfside Member

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    @ecarfan, to be clear, i'm not suggesting that the car isn't going to NOT have a steering wheel, accelerator and break pedal. however, i do think elon has pretty clearly stated that steering controls and system isn't going to be what we are used to in cars today. will be interesting to see what he is getting at; it could be as simple as a continuation of the current autopilot system or something more revolutionary.

    surfside
     
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  16. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    Controls and info in the steering wheel
     
  17. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    The price of an instrument cluster and HUD are in the same price range.

    There are some expensive instrument clusters and cheap HUDs. And vice versa.

    If you don't include an physical instrument cluster you can absolutely include a HUD for the base $35k Model 3.

    There is nothing revolutionary about a HUD.

    They have been around for over 40 years. Until now no OEM has dared to put a HUD standard in lieu of an instrument cluster. Only in addition to.
     
  18. MitchJi

    MitchJi Active Member

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    Tesla Unveils Model 3
    I believe that the base M3 will have at least a 70kWh pack.
     
  19. dakh

    dakh Member

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    If they indeed get .21 drag coefficient which is a 12% improvement over Model S. Frontal area will be smaller and tires too. They might be able to get away with quite a bit smaller battery vs. Model S for the same range.
     
  20. surfside

    surfside Member

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    ok so as i've been thinking about this more, one thing that i'm having a hard time reconciling is how/when tesla will launch the hardware for fully autonomous driving in the model s and x. given how recent the model x has been launched, i just can't see it happening in the x within the next six months even if tesla has already identified the needed hardware (i think they have) -- too many upset early adopters.

    based on my current thinking, if i were to guess i would predict that they announce/integrate the hardware for fully autonomous driving in the s/x either late 2016 or early 2017, and then they have the model 3 unveil part 2 in the fall of 2017 where they reveal that the model 3 will have fully autonomous hardware as well and oh by the way, we have developed a shared mobility platform that will be available for you to send your car to work for you while you are at work.

    imagine a program where model 3 owners could opt in to have their car be available for driving in exchange for sharing revenues generated in the program with tesla. i could see a scenario where an owner with a car leased from tesla could share in the revenues up until the point where the lease payment is covered; tesla would then be able to keep the revenues generated beyond that. so you get a model 3 essentially for free; tesla gets a paid for car to use the car in the shared mobility fleet when you aren't using it. these are obviously wild scenarios, but fun to think about...

    surfside
     

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