Tesla Model 3 aims for two mass-market titles: First EV and first autonomous car

tesla eight vehicles planned lineup model 3 black
Since the Model 3 introduction in March 2016, Tesla has been clear in its intent to be the first affordable long-range electric vehicle. Now it appears Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans for the Tesla Model 3 will lead to mass-market autonomous driving as well, according to Electrek.

All Model 3s will be equipped with Tesla’s full autonomous driving suite of sensors and hardware, as are all newly built Model S and X vehicles. That doesn’t mean every Model 3 will be self-driving, however. Without unlocked assist or autonomous features option payments, Teslas have the potential of functioning at the company’s then-current level of assistance or autonomy, but cannot access them.

The current Autopilot option or upgrade fee for Tesla Model S and X is $6,000 for the Enhanced Autopilot. This feature enables four on-board cameras and 12 ultrasonic sonar sensors for driver assistance capability plus ongoing over the air (OTA) software upgrades and updates. The Full Self-Driving Capability option is another $4,000 upgrade.

Self-driving ability will be only usable when software validation and regulatory approval are granted at some uncertain future time. So with the currently available Tesla Model S and X, the tab is $10,000 for access to the full suite of hardware and autonomous functionality.

If Tesla maintains the current upgrade strategy at the same prices with the upcoming Model 3, as Electrek points out, the market temperature will be very different. There’s a huge difference in vehicle starting prices. The Model 3 starts at $35,000 and the S and X begin at about twice that price and beyond. Expecting a $35,000 car buyer to have the same regard for a $10,000 option as a $70,000 car buyer doesn’t float, no matter how appealing the extra features.

Musk said from the beginning and reiterated in last year’s annual meeting that vehicle prices will start high to pay for the development of lower-priced models. He maintains that the upper-level models will have greater luxury and feature sets, but in the case of autonomous hardware and capabilities, the company stated that the hardware will be the same. Indeed Musk doesn’t want people to think of “safe” and “even safer” Tesla models, because he knows that would immediately be turned around to “safe” and “not-so-safe.”

Musk has stated and confirmed that the Model 3 will have a single user display located in the center of the dashboard. When queried on Twitter by Electrek about the plan for a single display without regulatory approval for autonomous software, Tusk reiterated, “It still has one display.”

It may be that Musk has another card up his sleeve for price adjustments or feature enhancements. Regardless of vehicle and option price strategies, it’s clear Musk has his eyes firmly on being the first for both disruptive technologies.

Mobile

The Avalon V is Alcatel’s first Verizon-exclusive smartphone

Alcatel is has announced a new phone, the Avalon V -- but this budget device isn't what makes the announcement special. It's Alcatel's first phone on the Verizon network, and it's available now.
Emerging Tech

Watch the huge Stratolaunch plane take to the skies for the very first time

The massive Stratolaunch aircraft -- the world's largest in terms of wingspan -- completed its maiden flight in California on Saturday. The successful outing takes it a step closer to becoming part of a launch system for satellites.
Movies & TV

The Rise of Skywalker is the next Star Wars movie, watch the first teaser here

The next Star Wars movie got its official title, Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker, as well as its first full trailer, during the Star Wars Celebration fan event in Chicago.
Cars

Entry-level Tesla Model 3 now available only as a special order model

Tesla has deleted the entry-level, $35,000 Model 3 from its online store. The version remains available but buyers need to place a special order by calling the company or visiting one of its stores.
Cars

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 proves the General Motors luxury brand still cares about sedans. Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, it features Cadillac's Super Cruise tech and a lineup of turbocharged engines.
Cars

2020 Lincoln Corsair crossover is small in size, but big on luxury

The 2020 Lincoln Corsair made its public debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. It replaces the MKC as the smallest crossover in Lincoln's lineup and shares underpinnings with the 2020 Ford Escape.
Cars

Genesis’ all-electric Mint concept proves small cars can still be stylish

Unveiled ahead of the 2019 New York Auto Show, the Genesis Mint concept is a future electric city car with scissor doors in place of a traditional hatchback. Genesis likely won't put it into production, however.
Cars

Drywall or kayaks? The 2020 Toyota Highlander is ready for your weekend plans

Toyota introduced the 2020 Highlander ahead of its public debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The fourth-generation Highlander is bigger than its predecessor, and it comes with more tech features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Cars

More tech and more space make the Mercedes-Benz GLS the S-Class of the SUV world

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation GLS at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The company's biggest and most luxurious SUV gains more tech features in its quest to become the S-Class of the SUV world.
Cars

2020 Ford Escape gets sleeker styling, greener powertrains, more tech

The 2020 Ford Escape gets redesigned for the first time since the 2013 model year. Ford brought back the hybrid powertrain, and is adding a plug-in hybrid option for the first time.
Cars

The 2020 Subaru Outback wants to take you to (and teach you about) the outdoors

The Outback is one of Subaru's most significant models, so the Japanese firm couldn't afford to make a mistake when it overhauled the model. The sixth-generation Outback is still rugged but more user-friendly than ever before.
Cars

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Turbo shows value and performance can go hand in hand

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata goes in a bold new design direction, with LED streaks on its hood and sleeker bodywork all around. It starkly contrasts with the current Sonata's conservative design.
Cars

With drift mode, Kia’s Stinger GTS lets you unleash your inner hooligan

Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the limited-edition Kia Stinger GTS gets a trick all-wheel drive system that should enable plenty of sideways action. But only 800 buyers will get to try it.
Cars

Kia’s HabaNiro concept is an autonomous, electric car that knows when you’re sad

Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the Kia HabaNiro concept is supposed to preview the future of the everyday car. That future will include artificial intelligence tech that can read the driver's emotions, according to Kia.