Tesla CEO Elon Musk all but admitted at Code Conference 2016 that the Tesla Model 3 will have optional full autonomy. While there wasn't any outright statement, Musk did say that when the company unveils "part two" of the Model 3 announcement later in 2016, it was "going to do obvious thing."
Everything from the current iteration of Autopilot to Tesla's massive autonomous driving database to reports of an enhanced triple-camera Autopilot system to the layout of the Model 3's dash has spurred endless speculation about what level of autonomy we should expect in the car. Musk himself has stated that he expects Tesla to have full autonomy ready by the end of 2017 — right when volume production of the Model 3 should begin.
His comments at Code Conference with Recode's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher aren't just adding fuel to the fire — they turned a bonfire into a full-on self-driving inferno.
Elon Musk: The price for gasoline cars is around 30, 32 [thousand]. There are starting prices that are lower, but when people pick options I believe it's around 32 in the U.S. So we're pretty close to that.
Walt Mossberg: But that's your base price, right? The would bring up the ASP for the car.
Elon Musk: [The Model 3] will be a great car even at 35. Even if you order nothing, no options at all, it'll be great.
Walt Mossberg: But you're likely to have a mix where the average car that you actually sell sells for a little more than that.
Elon Musk: Yes, it's probably going to be some higher number. It's really important to emphasize that if somebody orders a $35,000 car they'll be very happy. It's not like you need to order a bunch of options without which the car is not good.
Walt Mossberg: That car will have autonomous for 35?
Elon Musk: Uh… I'm going to have another Tesla event, maybe at the end of the year, to talk more about that.
Walt Mossberg: So, uh, you could start here...
Elon Musk: It would be real big news if I started here.
Walt Mossberg: We don't mind that.
Elon Musk: Let me just say that we're going to do obvious thing.
Walt Mossberg: Ooookay.
Elon Musk: It's really obvious.
Kara Swisher: So cupholders? Good.
Elon Musk: Yeah. Those things are nuanced.
So will the Model 3 offer full autonomy or not? Yeah, probably.