Tesla Roadster will have 'SpaceX option' that adds rocket thrusters


Tesla owners also need to add an additional $3,000 package called Full Self-Driving Capability.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims a new Tesla software update is coming in August that will bring more autonomy to Autopilot. "Maybe they will even allow a Tesla to fly..." Previous updates to Autopilot were "rightly focused entirely on safety", he said.

But proponents were quick to celebrate Musk's promised upgrade, with Tesla stock surging in after-hours trading.

Electric cars get a lot of attention, but the electric motorcycle segment has been booming in the shadows for the past several years.

An electric-powered passenger vehicle sped up before crashing into a previously damaged crash attenuator as it approached a state highway interchange, a preliminary report from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says.

But despite a series of updates to the software, it still requires an owner's hands remain on the wheel, the owner ready to take full control in an emergency, or when advised to do so by a system warning.

Being "full self-driving", as Elon Musk calls it, doesn't mean that the auto will drive itself, though it could.

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The Tesla Model X passenger vehicle was being driven with the company's "Autopilot" features enabled when it crashed into the attenuator - also known as a "crash cushion" - on March 23 this year.

Missy Cummings, the director of Duke University's Humans and Autonomy Lab, said Musk's self-driving statement was an "attempt to generate hype" and that his assertion of a focus on safety was "laughable".

"We're not going to do motorcycles", said company co-founder and CEO Elon Musk during an annual shareholder meeting.

However, Elon Musk did confirm the rockets on the forthcoming Roadster will be "pure electric", ruling out the use of any petrol-based booster technology in the all-electric sports vehicle.

Tesla's Autopilot driver assistance system has had its share of controversy, but the latest Autopilot controversy stems from a third-party accessory.

On Saturday, Musk said the package will include around 10 small rocket thrusters that will improve the vehicle's acceleration, maximum speed, braking, and handling. "COPV [composite overwrapped pressure vessel] in place of the kid seats, which is prob wise for many reasons", Musk detailed in the first talk of the vehicle since Tesla's annual meeting last week.