You know those pesky destination charges car companies tag on the MSRP for cars making your car now close to $1,000 more expensive? Those COULD be a thing of the past IF you buy a Tesla.
Destination charges, the cost to deliver a vehicle from the factory to a dealership is ultimately passed down to the consumer and shows up on your final MSRP, usually around $895. It’s an annoying and sometimes arbitrary number that lumps in the costs to ship your car from the factory and is mandated by federal law to be tacked onto every car. But, what if that costs can be refunded because well, your car can drive itself from the factory to your door? As per Elon Musk in a reply to a tweet earlier today (Nov. 15, 2018) that technology does exist and within a year could be a possibility, but not likely. It all depends on what our lawmakers do.
Probably technically able to do so in about a year. Then up to regulators.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 15, 2018
Earlier this year Tesla sent out an over the air update for all Tesla cars with a new version 9.0 that aimed to make Teslas, “smarter, safer and more intuitive than ever before.” Included in that rollout was an update for Navigate on Autopilot which includes a guidance feature that allows a car to enter and exit off-ramps including lane changes, navigating interchanges and taking exits, all with the driver’s approval. Although this particular piece of the update is in its early stages of implementation, that means that a Tesla could theoretically navigate our nation’s highways, if programmed so, with no driver input.
I reckon it wouldn’t be much of a challenge for a Tesla to drive itself from its factory in Fremont to say a home in Hayward, a couple dozen miles away with one or two exits off the freeway.
If this became standard practice, it would be a major game changer for how cars are transported, they’d be sent directly from the factory to the user with little need for a dealership lot other than for local test drives.
All this, of course, must go through the slow turning wheels of our local, state, and national government agencies to become “a thing.” Autonomous driving, that is sending out cars with or without someone in the front seat, and relinquishing all driving to the car, is still years away from being an everyday occurrence.