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No Ridesharing: Tesla Bans Drivers From Using Tesla Cars For Uber Or Lyft

22 October 2016, 1:59 pm EDT By Ted Ranosa Tech Times
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Tesla is prohibiting Tesla drivers from using their vehicles to join ridehailing companies such as Uber and Lyft. The company said this will only be allowed through its own ridesharing Tesla Network.  ( Justin Sullivan | Getty Images )

People who own Tesla cars won't be able to use their vehicles to earn money through ridesharing after the car maker banned the practice.

Tesla Motors announced on Thursday, Oct. 20, that it will not allow any of its luxury electric vehicles to be used to work for ridehailing companies such as Uber or Lyft.

While ridesharing among family and friends of Tesla drivers is still fine, the company made it clear that using its self-driving vehicles in this manner for revenue purposes will only be permitted through its Tesla Network.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed in July that the company intends to create a network that would allow drivers to use Tesla's self-driving cars for ridesharing. However, Tesla hasn't provided any more details regarding this planned service as of late.

The company's decision to enter the ridehailing industry shouldn't come as a surprise as many other car manufacturers have already begun investing on mobility services.

Not only would this allow them to rake in some of the trillions of dollars that they could make through the sale of cars and on-demand services, but it would also let them eat into Uber's dominance over the industry.

So far, General Motors leads all other car manufacturers in investing in ridesharing, putting in $500 million of its money in Lyft back in January. Company executives said its new Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle is specifically designed for car sharing.

Brian Johnson, a Wall Street analyst for Barclays, said that while the Tesla's planned ridesharing network could create significant buzz in the market over the company's potential earnings stream, it is still going to be a costly proposition.

"While we think ridesharing/hailing is the future of mass-market mobility, we have some financial concerns with the idea of an OEM-owned fleet," Johnson said.

Compared to General Motors or ridehailing leaders Uber and Lyft, Tesla doesn't have vast resources that it can use in order to secure market dominance at a particular region. Before Uber lost out to chief local rival Didi Chuxing in China, the company was said to have used up billions of dollars just to maintain its hold on the country.

Aside from banning the use Tesla vehicles for ridesharing, the company also announced on Thursday that future Model X and Model S electric cars will feature full self-driving capabilities. All existing Tesla EV vehicles, however, won't be able to upgrade to include this feature.

Once Tesla's software for self-driving becomes available, drivers will have to pay $8,000 to have their car's feature to be activated.

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