What is Tesla’s most differential asset? The answer depends on who you ask. And there are many options available: battery technology, the charging network that they have been building, all the R&D behind the engines of their cars. However, for Elon Musk, none of these options is really the company’s most differential asset.
For the tycoon of South African origin, what will really make Tesla worth a lot of money is its autonomous driving system. In fact, his statements are quite blunt: “The focus is on solving full autonomous driving. It’s essential. It’s really the difference between Tesla being worth a lot of money or being worth basically zero.”
In a way, Elon Musk’s words make perfect sense. Tesla has been a leader in electric vehicles for years. And it will continue to be for a while. But the rest of the brands, sooner or later, will reduce that distance.
So what’s the next way to set yourself apart from the competition? It is there where the Full Self Driving or Total Autonomous Driving can really make a difference.
On the other hand, getting Full Self Driving working as expected would validate what Tesla has been promising for years. And let’s remember that part of the value of the company on the stock market is based on the ability to make this system operate as expected.
Not only because it would put them in an advantageous position compared to other brands, but also because of the business opportunities that software like this would open up (robotaxis, automated freight transport, etc.).
Similarly, many people who have bought a Tesla have done so with the idea that, in a few years, it will be practically autonomous. Not fulfilling this promise would seriously affect the perception that customers have of the company.
So while Elon Musk’s phrase may sound dramatic, the reality is that getting Tesla’s self-driving system to work as expected is key to the company’s future. Even more so if you plan to expand your knowledge in artificial intelligence to other fields, as seems to be the goal with Optimus.