Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk promised the world that he would be adding a few self-driving features to the Tesla Motors Model S this Summer. Hopefully, we’ll get an update on that this Tuesday. Tesla is hosting its 2015 shareholder meeting on Tuesday June 9, and Mr. Musk is sure to take some questions about the software update.
The self-driving features that will come to the Model S this year won’t change the world, but they will give thousands of people their first glimpse at a real self-driving car. That will be big for Tesla’s brand, and analysts are excited at the “secret weapon” that Musk is set to deploy.
Tesla Motors gets cars to drive themselves
Some time this Summer, according to Mr. Musk, we’ll see a Model S that will be able to keep itself on the right lane on a highway, and drive itself fully to some extent on private property.
Though most of the functions will be sealed on public roads, in private a user will be able to call their car to the front door or tell it to go and park itself. Wall Street is very excited by the disruption that self-driving cars are set to cause, and the firms are more positive on Tesla because of its chances at getting their first.
Morgan Stanley lead auto analyst Ravi Shanker said earlier this year that “advanced driver assistance systems,” like that set to come to the Tesla Motors Model S this year, will be standard inside the next decade. Tesla could still do a lot of good by being ahead of the crowd.
Other car-makers, like BMW and Mercedes, already offer some of the self-driving features that Tesla Motors intends to put in the Model S. Mercedes, for example, offers lane-keeping assist in many models. That’s likely the most impressive feature that Tesla will be able to actually put on the road in most states because of legal barriers.
Tesla’s marketing reach, and popular following, means that its use of self-driving will be much more meaningful, however. The first time that someone calls their Model S to the door using the Apple Watch, will cause an internet sensation.
When Mr. Musk takes to the stage on Tuesday he is likely to address the self-driving software. He’ll let the world know whether it’s going to be deployed soon, or if the Summer release is on the cards at all at this stage.
Tesla Motors shares wait for action
On Monday Baird analyst Ben Kallo said that Tesla Motors shares looked good as the firm headed into its shareholder meeting. Kallo reckons that the firm’s Model X launch, tomorrow’s meeting, Q2 Model S numbers, and the coming Model 3 reveal all put upward pressure on shares.
Tesla Motors stock is, for now, waiting for the next big event to push it higher. The self-driving update is not as big as the Model X launch, but it is a notable event for the firm.
On Monday, ahead of the meeting, shares in Tesla were up strongly in early trading. That boost was, at least in part, due to the upcoming meeting and Kallo’s positive view of the firm’s near-term momentum.
Elon Musk will have to let those with shares in Tesla Motors know about the Model S self-driving update tomorrow, and those with the right version of the car should be able to take their hands off the wheel, for short moments at least, before school is back in.