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The Week in Tesla News: Tesla Delivers on Deliveries, Autopilot Upgrade, Possible Price Hike

Tesla Fleet

Tesla is riding high this week after announcing a record number of deliveries in the second quarter of 2019. Elon Musk took to Twitter to discuss a self-driving technology hardware update for older Tesla models, but he also left us with some rather cryptic tweets about the availability of Teslas in the future.

Related: What Cars Have Self-Driving Features for 2019?

Read on for this week’s Tesla news rundown.

Record Deliveries in Q2

2017 Tesla Model 3

Tesla announced that it delivered 95,200 vehicles in the second quarter of 2019, which is a record for the company. The bestseller by far was the Model 3 sedan with 77,550 delivered, the remainder being a mixture of the more expensive Models S sedan and Model X SUV. Tesla raised the bar on production, too, with 87,048 vehicles coming off the production line between April and June this year.

This comes after Tesla’s biggest ever drop in sales last quarter, which led to some major losses for the company. Some blame the plug-in vehicle tax credit, which was cut in half on Jan. 1, for hurting sales. It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume the looming second slash to that credit, which occurred on July 1, incentivized buyers in the second quarter.

Self-Driving Upgrade Chips

Tesla Full Self-Driving Computer

Owners of older-model Teslas will now get an update to the self-driving functionality in their vehicles thanks to a hardware upgrade. Teslas sold from October 2016 on come equipped with Autopilot Hardware 2 (a suite of sensors, radar and cameras) and are eligible to receive an upgraded custom chip. Though no Teslas are yet able to drive entirely without human assistance, the chip will allow the autonomous tech to be usable once the software is developed and available. Teslas made in recent months already have this capability.

Musk estimates there are about 500,000 vehicles out there that are compatible with the upgrade, although only those who paid for the “Full Self-Driving” option when they bought their Tesla will get the new chip for free. Musk tweeted that the upgrade will come “End of Q4, most likely.”

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Musk Wants in on the Ride-Share Game

Tesla Autopilot

Speaking of self-driving, it may be difficult to get your hands on a new Tesla when they eventually reach full autonomy. Musk left Twitter confused when he insinuated that there would be a limited time left to purchase a Tesla. He later clarified, saying that, while consumers will still be able to buy Teslas post-autonomy, the price is going to increase significantly because self-driving cars that can function as “robotaxis” are more valuable than cars humans have to drive.

This is in keeping with Musk’s plan to make Tesla into a ride-sharing service with its own fleet of autonomous vehicles. As for how close we are to hailing Teslas instead of Ubers and Lyfts, we can only guess, but it does seem like Tesla is chomping at the bit to get drivers out of the cars they have endeavored to make so fun to drive.

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