Elon Musk is quite possibly one of the greatest visionaries of our time. First, Tesla introduced electric cars that looked like something straight from the year 3000. Then they launched that car into space while playing an infinite loop of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” Next came that weird, robotic looking pick-up truck that may not have exactly won over the hearts of the world quite so well. Don’t fret- Tesla has redeemed itself.
Tesla, Inc. has not even been around for two decades yet, but they’ve just made history. The visionaries and engineers have pushed the boundaries yet again. A new line of cars is about to hit the market, this time with four-legged occupants in mind. Tesla’s new Model K9 is expected to debut in European markets later this year, according to Reuters. The Model K9 is the world’s first dog drivable vehicle. Yes, you read that correctly! Model K9 cars are fully operational without the help of humans (mostly).
Tesla has partnered with Boston Dynamics to make a self-driving vehicle just for dogs. Boston Dynamics used its robot named “Spot” as their test subject when designing the vehicles.
“We’re very dedicated to furthering the realm of artificial intelligence so that often means long nights away from home. Many of our employees are dog lovers though, so we were really excited to work on this,” said Marc Raibert, founder and chairman of Boston Dynamics. “Now we’re just counting down the days until our own dogs can drive over and see us while we’re at work.”
Even Elon Musk himself is a dog lover! He has two dogs: Gatsby and Marvin the Martian. Honestly, could there have been any better name?
How It Works
Model K9 cars will be equipped with paw print recognition and voiceprint technology. Dog parents will need to register their dog’s paw print when the car first arrives. After the initial setup, dogs can unlock the door, open the vehicle and start the engine simply by standing within 18 inches of the driver’s side door. Infrared sensors coupled with voice recognition technology analyze your dog’s body mass, fur type and unique voiceprint of their bark to be sure it’s the right pup. Once inside, the car’s climate can be controlled entirely through an app so pet parents can be sure their four-legged friends are always comfortable.
Model K9s will also have GPS capability and will have an “easy-select” menu where dogs or dog parents can choose from nearby dog parks and veterinarian offices. There is also space for four additional two or four-legged passengers, which can either sit in the passenger seat or the second row. And, if you’re concerned about theft, don’t worry. Model K9s will not allow the engine to start unless the registered dog is in the driver’s seat.
Additional Features With Your Pup In Mind
Following a traditional SUV body style, the Model K9 will boast a spacious trunk. The trunk’s open and close feature can also be activated by dog parents from the mobile app, or by dogs themselves if they’re able to be trained to use the bark command feature. Once the trunk opens, a ramp will automatically deploy, allowing dogs the ability to access the trunk for any toys or treats!
“We’re very excited about this new technology and the autonomy we are finally able to give dogs,” Musk said.
The Model K9 starts at $42,799. For any interested pooch parents, Tesla is offering a pre-order special of 20% off MSRP and an upgrade to scratch-proof interior. Use code APRILFOOLS on your preorder form!
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