Surprisingly, Tesla has restored the "Full Self Driving" option to its cars. However, $5,000 (or $7,000 after delivery) does not buy a level 4 autonomous vehicle. Instead, FSD is now defined as the Navigate on Autopilot, Autopark, and Summon functions, some of which have been available until now as part of the "Enhanced Autopilot." (Summon appears to have been enhanced according to the description.) Tesla's website also says that the ability to "recognize and respond to traffic lights and stop signs" is coming later this year, as well as "automatic driving on city streets."
Yet to me the lead story should be:
However, these new, cheaper Teslas come at a cost. Tesla also announced that it is now moving to an entirely online sales model and will be shuttering most of its retail locations in the US. "Going to online only is incredibly helpful to us; in many parts of the US, we're unable to sell cars because of franchise laws. This substantially opens up our ability to buy cars. It's 2019—people want to buy stuff online," Musk said.
That means job losses. "There's no other way for us to achieve the savings required to produce this car and still remain profitable. There's no way around it," Musk said. However, when asked about the number or timing of job losses, Musk would not be drawn into details and dismissed the question as "not today's topic."
I'm not sure I agree with the idea that Tesla can get away with online only. My thoughts were that I was to buy a Tesla I certainly would test drive all the models to see which one I wanted. Buying a car online is not the same as using Amazon to buy a USB cable for your phone.
On the other hand, I've heard Tesla is terrible at customer service. You never get the same story twice. People end up waiting months to get Teslas fixed due to the lack of spare parts and the internal mess that is Tesla's customer service. Therefore part of the calculus might be that they suck at it so they might as well shut it down.
And I've read that closing the stores will be the kiss of death for Solar City.
So, it's all to me a sign that both Telsa and Solar City are under duress, and it would not surprise me if we see either or both sold off so Elon can focus on SpaceX where his customers are governments and corporations and he doesn't have to deal with the challenges of dealing with the public marketplace.