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Tesla Looks to Upgrade Controversial Autopilot, Raise More Cash

Company wants cash for Gigafactory, superchargers and stores.

by on Aug.31, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company plans to release an updated version of its controversial Autopilot program.

Tesla plans to raise additional funds later this year and offer an updated version of its Autopilot system that has been the center of controversy for the California-based electric vehicle manufacturer.

Elon Musk, the company’s founder and CEO, tweeted earlier today the automaker plans to release updated software for the controversial Autopilot program that has been blamed for at least one fatal crash and alleged to have played a role other accidents.

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The update, which will be delivered “over the air” to vehicle owners, will contain “major improvements” to the existing system. Critics have chided the Musk and Tesla officials for not shutting down the function in light of the fatal crash in May, but Musk steadfastly maintained that the system was not being used properly and that the company would continue with its development program.

Additionally, the company revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing it will be looking to raise additional cash in the latter part of the year. The company already raised $1.5 billion in May to provide funding needed for production of the company’s mass market EV: the Model Three.

(Ford planning to launch first driverless car by 2021. Click Here for the story.)

The next tranche of funds will “used primarily for tooling, production equipment and construction of the Tesla’s Model 3 production lines.” The company will also invest in equipment for its battery producing Gigafactory in Nevada as well as building new retail locations and charging stations around the country.

The needs do not end there as the “funds would also be used to support the additional capital needs” of the company following its $2.6 billion acquisition of money-losing renewable energy firm SolarCity, according to the filing.

(Delphi, MobilEye want to have autonomous vehicle system ready to roll by 2019. Click Here for more.)

The company had $3.25 billion in liquidity as of June 30, including $2.76 billion in money market funds. Tesla reported a net loss of $486 million through the first six months of 2016, up 78% from a year earlier.

Adding to the money going tout the door, the company also noted in the filing that it “received notices of conversion from holders of approximately $422 million in aggregate principal amount of Tesla’s convertible senior notes due 2018.”

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Per the terms of the notes, Tesla has to pony up cash for the notes and said it “expects to pay this amount in the third quarter of 2016 and, after giving effect to these conversions, Tesla had approximately $224 million in aggregate principal amount of 2018 Notes outstanding.”

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One Response to “Tesla Looks to Upgrade Controversial Autopilot, Raise More Cash”

  1. Anthony says:

    What happened with the death earlier this year was going to happen eventually. It is still safer than manually piloted cars (as fun as driving yourself can be)…