Elon Musk teases 'epic' Tesla product launch, but is it a self-driving vehicle?


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The Independent Online

Tesla Motors, the electric vehicle giant, is set to join rivals in the race for self-driving cars as investors gear up for a surprise announcement later this week.

The new features, including one allowing drivers to keep the car in its lane, are set to be unveiled at a Tesla event in Los Angeles on Thursday, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg News, in what is seen as stepping stone to self-driving cars.

Last week, Tesla's chief executive, Elon Musk, teased fans and investors alike with a mysterious tweet where he hinted at an "epic" product launch. The photograph accompanying the tweet showed a Tesla vehicle peeking behind a garage door with a letter "D" on it.

The tweet sparked a flurry of comments and speculation ahead of the event with some suggesting that it could be all-wheel drive version of Tesla S model, or a completely new vehicle with self-driving capability. The tweet has been re-tweeted 14,000 times and the stock has risen ahead of the big announcement.

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In response to the Twitter frenzy, the billionaire CEO later tweeted: "I love the Internet. Comments had me literally ROFL. No, it wasn’t intentional. Glad I didn’t mention the other letter!”

In June, Musk said the electric car-maker was working on developing new "auto-pilot" features, competing with rivals Audi, Mercedes and Honda, which recently announced it had developed a prototype for a car that can drive itself in and out of the motorway using sensors and cameras located on the front and sides of the vehicle.