Tesla will expand into energy generation and grow its energy storage business.
In Musk's post, he says that Tesla aims to develop "a smoothly integrated and beautiful solar-roof-with-battery product that just works, empowering the individual as their own utility, and then scale that throughout the world. One ordering experience, one installation, one service contact, one phone app."
This news wasn't all that surprising given Tesla's recent proposal to buy SolarCity, a solar company of which Musk is the chairman. SolarCity's CEO, Lyndon Rive, also happens to be Musk's cousin.
At the time, Musk called the deal "Blindingly obvious" and since then he has remained confident that the board will eventuallyapprove the almost $3 billion deal. Nevertheless, he argued his point further in the blog post stating that Tesla can't make a truly seamless solar product if it remains seperate from SolarCity.
"That they are separate at all, despite similar origins and pursuit of the same overarching goal of sustainable energy, is largely an accident of history. Now that Tesla is ready to scale Powerwall and SolarCity is ready to provide highly differentiated solar, the time has come to bring them together," he said.
Tesla will launch at least two more vehicles, in addition to the Model 3.
The Model 3 is just the beginning of Tesla's venture into mass market cars. The company has plans to launch at least two more vehicles: an SUV and a truck, Musk said.
"Today, Tesla addresses two relatively small segments of premium sedans and SUVs. With the Model 3, a future compact SUV and a new kind of pickup truck, we plan to address most of the consumer market," Musk said in the blog post.
This news isn't completely out of left field either. JB Straubel, Tesla's chief technology officer, hinted at a Tesla truck in May.
"I can’t say too much about the new products and the things we are developing, but from a pure technology point of view, everything that we’ve done on vehicles translates directly into trucks," he said. "There’s no reason that today you can’t make a very compelling electric truck."
Musk also hinted at another vehicle built on the Model 3 platform in October. At the time he said via Twitter that a Tesla vehicle called the Model Y could have Falcon Wing doors. However, he later deleted the tweet.
Tesla is also working on an electric heavy-duty truck and a fully autonomous electric bus, both of which could be unveiled as early as next year!
Musk said Tesla is also currently working on an electric heavy-duty truck and an electric vehicle for urban transport.
"Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year," he said in the blog post. "We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate."
"With the advent of autonomy, it will probably make sense to shrink the size of buses and transition the role of bus driver to that of fleet manager," he said in the blog post.
"Traffic congestion would improve due to increased passenger areal density by eliminating the center aisle and putting seats where there are currently entryways, and matching acceleration and braking to other vehicles, thus avoiding the inertial impedance to smooth traffic flow of traditional heavy buses."
Musk also noted that Tesla's bus would take passengers all the way to their destination and that "fixed summon buttons" would be installed at bus stops for those who don't have a phone. He added the design of the bus will also accomodate wheelchairs, strollers, and bikes.
Tesla is going to make its cars incredibly safe via autonomous driving, which Musk says will be "10 times safer" than it already is.
In his post, Musk said Tesla aims to "develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning."
In short, Musk wants Autopilot to get a whole lots better in the near-term.
"As the technology matures, all Tesla vehicles will have the hardware necessary to be fully self-driving with fail-operational capability, meaning that any given system in the car could break and your car will still drive itself safely," Musk said in the blog post.
"It is important to emphasize that refinement and validation of the software will take much longer than putting in place the cameras, radar, sonar and computing hardware."
Musk was careful to note that while Tesla's self-driving software is "highly refined and far better than the average human driver," its fully autonomous tech will still take some time to roll out everywhere because reguators will have to approve it first.
"We expect that worldwide regulatory approval will require something on the order of 6 billion miles (10 billion km). Current fleet learning is happening at just over 3 million miles (5 million km) per day," he said.