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posted by martyb on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:55PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Look-Ma!-No-Hands! dept.

Tesla had aimed to do a cross-country U.S. drive in one of its vehicles using fully autonomous driving capabilities by the end of last year. Obviously it didn't make that goal, or you'd have heard about it. Instead, Tesla CEO Elon Musk now says he anticipates being able to make the trip within three months, or six months at the long end.

Specifically, Musk said on an earnings call in response to a question about the autonomous drive that they'd "probably" be able to "do a coast-to-coast drive in three months, six months at the outside." When asked whether this feature would then be immediately available to customers, he did say that it "will be a feature that's available to customers," without commenting directly on timing of availability.

Musk admitted that he'd "missed the mark on that front," regarding the original autonomous drive demonstration, but he qualified that Tesla "could've done the coast-to-coast drive [last year] but that the company "would've had to do too much custom code, effectively gaming it." It would've resulted in a feature that others could have used in their vehicles as well, but only for that exact cross-country route.

Source: TechCrunch


Original Submission

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Elon Musk's Monstrous, Enormously Large Compensation Package 35 comments

If Elon Musk can increase Tesla's market value 12-fold in the next 10 years, he may be entitled to a maximum of $56 billion in stock awards (likely lower if more shares are sold to the public). This, along with the ballooning of Musk's existing $12 billion share in his company, and his stake in SpaceX and other companies, could help Musk become a Kardashev I trillionaire alongside Jeff Bezos:

A new payment plan for the CEO was approved by Tesla (TSLA) shareholders Wednesday, a spokesperson confirmed. The incentive-based package essentially states that if Musk hits a series of performance milestones between now and January 2028, and he drives his electric car company's market value 12 times higher — taking it from $54 billion to $650 billion — he'll become astronomically rich.

Now, if Musk does drive a 12-fold increase in Tesla's market value, that doesn't necessarily mean the price of a single share in the company will be 12 times larger. The company can do things like issue new stock that could dilute the value of existing shares. But let's assume Musk's Tesla stock would grow at least 10 times more valuable. That would mean just the shares Musk owns today would be worth $120 billion.

Plus, reaching the agreed upon milestones means Musk would get additional stock awards. According to the new compensation plan, Tesla estimates the value of the stock awards to be $2.6 billion, using accounting methods for estimating the cash value of stock options. But if Tesla's market value balloons just as the payment plan hopes, those stock awards could be worth nearly $56 billion, according to a public filing.

Also at Reuters, Fortune, and CNBC.

Related: Tesla Fires Hundreds of Employees
Tesla Burns More Cash, Fails to Meet Production Targets
Tesla Sued Over Alleged Racism; Deliveries Pushed Back; Semi Truck to be Unveiled
Tesla Semi Truck Will Have a 500+ Mile Range
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Elon Musk Vows to Build Tesla Pickup Truck 'Right After' Model Y
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Tesla Creating Huge Virtual Power Plant
Elon Musk Expects to Do Coast-to-Coast Autonomous Tesla Drive in 3 to 6 Months


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:59PM (4 children)

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @08:59PM (#635193) Journal

    Falcon Heavy was supposed too fly in 2013.

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    • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:15PM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:15PM (#635206) Journal

      And as for the next Falcon Heavy, Musk said that a successful test flight of it could mean a commercial flight in... 3 to 6 months [investors.com].

      Falcon Heavy is not a good example though, because SpaceX had a great reason to delay Falcon Heavy: the continual evolution of Falcon 9. Falcon 9 went through several iterations that made it possible to actually land the boosters, as well as carry heavier cargo originally intended to fly on Falcon Heavy. And now that the Falcon Heavy has finally flown, the recovered boosters will not be used because they are from an obsolete version of Falcon 9 (the last major version will be Falcon 9 Block 5 [wikipedia.org]).

      Again: Falcon 9 flew payloads originally intended to fly on Falcon Heavy. So for some customers, there was less of a delay.

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      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday February 09 2018, @12:58AM (1 child)

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 09 2018, @12:58AM (#635324) Journal

        Falcon 9 flew payloads originally intended to fly on Falcon Heavy.

        Don't see how this is germane.

        It simply means Falcon Heavy will probably carry way more weight than it was designed for initially.
        It has nothing at all to do with missed delivery dates.

        Musk no longer sees Heavy as a manned launch vehicle. I don't know if there is simply no use case, or if he believes its a flying bomb.

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        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:23AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:23AM (#635334)

          Falcon 9 flew payloads originally intended to fly on Falcon Heavy.

          Don't see how this is germane.

          If you're stuck on nomenclature then, sure, Falcon Heavy was significantly delayed.
          However, if what one actually cares about is capability (which is what matters to SpaceX's customers), then the promise of what Falcon Heavy would deliver was provided by Falcon 9s, for many customers, way before the first flight of the rocket called "Falcon Heavy".

          It has nothing at all to do with missed delivery dates.

          The "delivery date" of launching a Falcon Heavy was entirely hype and PR. For their paying customers, delivery is measured in mass to orbit.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by arslan on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:41PM

      by arslan (3462) on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:41PM (#635220)

      ...and he said he'd build a battery farm here in 3 months or its free and he did. Estimates are just that, estimates [dictionary.com].

      Setting an engineering high bar goal isn't unusual either..

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by isostatic on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:05PM (4 children)

    by isostatic (365) on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:05PM (#635198) Journal

    There's currently a tesla on an autonomous drive to the asteroid belt

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by bob_super on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:29PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:29PM (#635215)

      For a certain value of the word "drive".

      That should also take about 6 Musk Months.

    • (Score: 2) by canopic jug on Friday February 09 2018, @11:15AM (2 children)

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 09 2018, @11:15AM (#635466) Journal

      The US beat him to it back in 1969 and did a better job all around. Not only did they launch a car into orbit, they landed it on the moon, and then drove around with it. I'm not the first to point that out. In contrast, his car is even drifting aimlessly off course and won't land on anything.

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      • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Friday February 09 2018, @06:11PM (1 child)

        by isostatic (365) on Friday February 09 2018, @06:11PM (#635621) Journal

        And yet NASA can't launch a stearing wheel into orbit, they have to buy capacity from Musk.

        • (Score: 2) by canopic jug on Friday February 09 2018, @06:45PM

          by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 09 2018, @06:45PM (#635643) Journal

          True but sad. NASA has been dismantled in chunks over the years starting with Reagan. In some ways it's a surprise that even the name remains.

          --
          Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:17PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:17PM (#635208)

    3- 6 months? That's terrible! According to my research [imdb.com], it should take less than two days!

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:27PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:27PM (#635213)

    So, is he going to get a permit for autonomous driving for every state he crosses? At level 3, 4 or even 5? Good luck (honestly).

    Or is he going to pull an Uber and just ignore the law? Good luck, too (sarcastically this time)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:47PM (#635224)

      These Tesla drivers didn't get any permits, just under 59 hours, story from 10/29/15 --
          https://jalopnik.com/we-set-a-cross-country-record-in-a-telsa-that-drove-its-1739410767 [jalopnik.com]

      ...
      For those still unaware, I joined Carl and Deena last week to set two new EV and autonomous Cannonball Records, driving from Los Angeles to New York City in 57 hours and 48 minutes.

      Most of the time, their 2015 Tesla Model S was driving itself. The experience utterly transformed my views on the future of EVs, autonomous cars and the future of driving.

      Like any record run, this one was a team effort, and not one that could be done by jumping in a car and hitting the road. Carl and Deena spent 11 months planning the journey and the route, and as soon as they knew Tesla’s Autopilot software was ready, they made sure to be ready too. And in May, they asked me to join them.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:04PM (5 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:04PM (#635229) Journal

      No need to pay attention to the law. We need more clearfully defined contracts rather than a violently imposed monopoly. The Tesla driver could say he's not a driver he's a traveller. Or a freeman in a Tesla. Then there is also the "I do not consent!" version.

      --
      Never use a needlessly simple solution to a problem when a much more complex solution would suffice.
      • (Score: 2) by insanumingenium on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:33PM (4 children)

        by insanumingenium (4824) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:33PM (#635249) Journal

        How exactly do you call out "a violently imposed monopoly", and then suggest that verbal trickery is going to defeat the system in the next sentence?

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by Osamabobama on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:49PM (1 child)

          by Osamabobama (5842) on Thursday February 08 2018, @11:49PM (#635287)

          There was some hand-waving that didn't make it into the text of the comment.

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        • (Score: 2, Informative) by khallow on Friday February 09 2018, @12:46AM (1 child)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 09 2018, @12:46AM (#635318) Journal

          How exactly do you call out "a violently imposed monopoly", and then suggest that verbal trickery is going to defeat the system in the next sentence?

          This is not the first bit of heavy-handed sarcasm that DannyB has wrapped around the tree of Poe's Law. Call the tow truck!

          • (Score: 2) by insanumingenium on Friday February 09 2018, @12:55AM

            by insanumingenium (4824) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 09 2018, @12:55AM (#635321) Journal

            Doesn't he know that sarcasm requires setting the evil bit? I never seem to stumble across anything DannyB writes that doesn't make me wonder what he is smoking, but I never added up the clues.

    • (Score: 2) by arslan on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:07PM

      by arslan (3462) on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:07PM (#635231)

      The boring company have raised sufficient funds to pay the fines...

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by vux984 on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:28PM (1 child)

    by vux984 (5045) on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:28PM (#635214)

    That's impressive, but honestly, I'd be more impressed if it could do my trip to the office and back.

    One highway mile is pretty much the same as the next. So if you can do one, doing 3000 more of them isn't really a challenge.

    Where I deal with a busy round about adjacent to an elementary school full of kids and parents stopping to do drop offs; with crossing guards and volunteers directing some of the traffic, to an extremely tight parkade where you have to coordinate a lot with other drivers to get past eachother in turns or if a pickup is in a small-car spot, to just a typical downtown city core with its turn lanes, bus lanes, stalls, ambulance and police activity... I've got to believe 20 miles of that is a lot harder than 3000 miles of 'staying in the middle of a nice wide interstate lane, while not hitting the car in front of you'.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:27AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:27AM (#635336)

      This isn't a demo for you and I. Unless you and I happen to own a semi or long-distance haulage company.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:52PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @09:52PM (#635225)

    Is Musk's definition of autonomous that it needs a human in the loop? Somehow I doubt they are going to set that thing loose without a driver.

  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:35PM (5 children)

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:35PM (#635251) Homepage Journal

    Please understand that electric cars are the best thing since sliced bread for the kind of drivers that always have access to a charging station.

    I like to go on road trips way out to the middle of nowhere. I once drove halfway down Baja California. I only turned back because I calculated that I would be penniless just as I got home. Any farther and I would have run out of gas.

    --
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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:56PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:56PM (#635265)

      But if you run out of gas, you really have no option but to get more gas somehow. If you have an electric car and run out of juice, you could set out a solar panel and trickle charge the thing until you could get it to the next charging place.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday February 09 2018, @01:01AM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 09 2018, @01:01AM (#635326) Journal

        But if you run out of gas, you really have no option but to get more gas somehow. If you have an electric car and run out of juice, you could set out a solar panel and trickle charge the thing until you could get it to the next charging place.

        Works only if there is sunlight.

        Or you could call a tow truck which would be about the same speed in each case (though much faster to carry fuel out than electric charge). And in the case where you have to walk for gas, it's a lot easier to carry a gallon of gas (which for my car gets me about 30-35 miles) than it would be to carry the equivalent amount of battery.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:36AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:36AM (#635339)

          > Works only if there is sunlight.

          Add'l requirements include plenty of food and water to wait for several days of charging...

        • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Friday February 09 2018, @01:06PM

          by opinionated_science (4031) on Friday February 09 2018, @01:06PM (#635483)

          making electricity is far easier than making gasoline - the major problem is that the raw materials combustion usually require millions of years of chemical conversion.

          I am happy to support anyone who does not trust an electric car, to continue to use a gasoline one.

          I cannot wait until a self-driving car become good enough to make *flying* less useful...

    • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Friday February 09 2018, @06:18PM

      by isostatic (365) on Friday February 09 2018, @06:18PM (#635627) Journal

      Never is a long time.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @03:00AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @03:00AM (#635367)

    The Tesla must be autonomous driving really, really slowly.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @03:16AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @03:16AM (#635370)

      Yeah, the car is being controlled by uploads from the cloud with lane position feedback coming from satellite spy cameras...and out in the desert the data link is kinda slow.

  • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Friday February 09 2018, @10:08AM (2 children)

    by Aiwendil (531) on Friday February 09 2018, @10:08AM (#635460) Journal

    Meh, at this point pretty much all major car manufacturers has enough tech to be able to do that drive supervised.

    He basically says "we are going to do this during the summer, when there are minimal interference with the sensors" - if he wants to impress do a Canadian coast-to-coast during the winter (in addition to the nice chill there might be something called snow)...

    Or do a better coast to coast, try Barrow - Puerto del Hambre.
    (Or a Tromso (norway) - Cape Town (s.africa) - Bilibino (russia) - Tromso (norway))

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:22PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09 2018, @01:22PM (#635486)
      remember when they had these cars driving in the desert for sport and competition -- the first one I saw, all but one drove directly off course within a minute or so... its only a matter of time (probably sooner than most think, or would like) before they can drive in any conditions, everywhere (or have optimus prime come and get them out of ditch)
      • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Friday February 09 2018, @10:28PM

        by Aiwendil (531) on Friday February 09 2018, @10:28PM (#635749) Journal

        Heh, yeah, the fun of overloading the optics :)

        I actually would be surprised if they managed to get a car that managed to drive in by itself in northern canda/norway/sweden/finland/russia within a decade or two mainly due to that those areas occasionally get snow in excess of 3ft/1m (at the time of writing about half of sweden has a snow depth of about 75 to 100cm (luckily the majority of swedes does not live in that half)), norway seems to have a few places with over 200cm of snow right now (sweden is in a rain shadow due to the scandinavian mountain range, so norway gets most of the snow we would have had otherwise).
        Oh yeah, over here we also have fun stuff like moose, think about it like a 200 to 700kg chunk of meat placed about 1m (3ft) above ground*.
        So basically - imagine the fun of the car, not only will it be needing to drive where the visibility is roughly nil, it might occasionally have to drive where the snow will go above the radiator, radar won't really help much (but picking the right radar might help some) and you suddenly might meet with a "driver"/passenger killing event at no notice while the road has very little friction.

        Hence - driving in summer close to the equator is a "meh".

        * = The extreme swerving test that is performed in sweden that occasionally topples cars are informally knows at "älgtestet" (lit. "the moose test") for a reason.

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