Today stands to be an important one for the future of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). Elon Musk’s electric vehicle (EV) empire is under tremendous strain as a probe into the company’s self-driving features continue to heat up. The company is holding its “Tesla AI Day” today, the second major public event for the company this year. Investors are wondering just what revelations Tesla has to share with its stockholders. Can TSLA stock see new life in the midst of these rough waters?
Tesla isn’t new to controversy; Elon Musk has gotten himself into trouble before with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over his tweets. Now, a much more serious probe looms over the company regarding its self-driving technologies. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now looking into 11 crashes involving Teslas utilizing their self-driving features and crashing into first-responder scenes on the road.
The company’s event earlier this year saw Elon Musk present the world with the Tesla Model S Plaid. Today’s event obviously focuses on Tesla’s AI capabilities, which comes at a very apt time considering the investigations. What might investors be looking for to get a glimmer of hope out of the company going into the fall?
Elon Musk Unlikely to Renege on Lidar Bearishness at Tesla AI Day; Investors Hope for a Big Product Reveal
Investors aren’t sure what to think going into the event, streaming tonight at 5 p.m. PST. What might they be expecting or hoping for?
First of all, it’s highly unlikely that Musk will ease up on his stance against lidar tech, especially in the midst of the probe. His hatred of the laser technology has not dimmed at all since he railed against it at Tesla’s 2019 Autonomy Day.
“While Musk has suggested that widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles is near, most industry observers say we are years or decades away,” explains InvestorPlace Market Analyst Joanna Makris. “Most observers say lidar is the safest, most cost-effective way to get there. Yet, Elon has completely dismissed this technology.”
And now, with this probe going on, experts are reiterating previous takes that these accidents would not have happened if the cars were equipped with lidar. However, it would be extremely out of character for Elon Musk to crack under this scrutiny; not to mention, backpedaling on the matter could come across as an admission of guilt in the matter to critics.
In fact, you can count on Tesla doubling down on its computer-based self-driving, simply given the nature of the theme. AI is Musk’s big vision for the future; surely he will have some things to say about the current situation. More importantly, viewers hope to hear what he’s going to do about it. Musk has proven to keep cool when his back is against the ropes, and he’ll likely give some big ideas on where the company will go from here to ensure a safer self-driving experience.
Finally, you can look to the company to go beyond its vehicle line-up when giving updates. The invite to the event has a teaser that there is more to come of this night than just car talk. In it, the company says viewers can expect to “get an inside look at what’s next for AI at Tesla beyond our vehicle fleet.” What this means, nobody can say. Some outlets are floating the ideas of an AI robot reveal, which seems like a likely possibility; given Musk’s unpredictable project ideas, though, your own guess is as good as any.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.