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Tesla bans use of self-driving cars to make money with Uber or Lyft as it hints at rival app

If you're planning on using your self-driving Tesla car to make money on Uber or Lyft, don't.

On Wednesday, Tesla announced that all vehicles being produced in its factory – including the Model 3 – will have hardware needed for fully autonomous driving at a "safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver."

But in a disclaimer on the company's website, Tesla said that anyone ordering a car capable of completely autonomous driving – which is waiting regulatory approval – can only use the vehicle for ride-sharing for friends and family or the electric car maker's own car hailing service.

"Please note also that using a self-driving Tesla for car sharing and ride hailing for friends and family is fine, but doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year," the disclaimer read.

New Autopilot features are demonstrated in a Tesla Model S during a Tesla event in Palo Alto, California October 14, 2015.
Beck Diefenbach | Reuters
New Autopilot features are demonstrated in a Tesla Model S during a Tesla event in Palo Alto, California October 14, 2015.

Earlier this year, Tesla founder Elon Musk laid out his "Master Plan, Part Deux" in which he gave hints at Tesla's future ride sharing service.

"You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you're at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost," Musk wrote.

"This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla. Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5 percent to 10 percent of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not."

The reference to the "Tesla Network" in the disclaimer appears to be a reference to this service.

Venture capitalists and corporates have invested nearly $28 billion into ride sharing or ride hailing services in the past decade as of June, according to Reuters analysis.

Companies such as General Motors have invested in Lyft, while Uber is the most valuable private technology company in the world, worth around $62.5 to $66 billion.

Musk's plan is predicated on the idea that Tesla's will be wide-scale, which would be necessary for a ride hailing app to work efficiently.