In a tweet Musk said whatever it is “needs a few more days of refinement” — although it’s not clear whether the extra polish is needed on the announcement or the product itself.
Earlier this month Musk trailed a new product that he asserted would be “unexpected by most”, with the unveiling due to take place on October 17, ahead of a separate Tesla/SolarCity announcement planned for October 28.
Speculation about what the unexpected Tesla product might be has included a new vehicle — perhaps a Roadster 2.0 — or improvements to the company’s driver assistance technology, Autopilot, with suggestions it’s been making significant progress there.
If it’s an update to the driver assistance system it’s possible the postponement to the announcement is related to criticism of the tech in Germany — which stepped up this weekend with the Transport Minister intervening directly via a letter to Tesla requesting it stop using the term ‘Autopilot’ in its marketing.
Earlier this month a study from Germany’s Federal Highway Research Institute also dubbed the Autopilot feature of the Tesla Model S a “considerable traffic hazard”. That report also criticized the company’s use of the term ‘Autopilot’ to describe a driver assistance technology.
Still, it’s equally possible the new product is something else entirely. Either way, Tesla fans only have a couple more days to wait to find out.