TESLA CEO ELON MUSK reckons the company will be launching robotaxis next year.
Musk made the prediction during the company's Autonomy Day - which presumably relates to autonomous vehicles, rather than letting employees do what they want to do. If it were the latter, you can't imagine many would be wanting to listen to lectures about driverless cars.
"I feel very confident predicting that there will be autonomous robotaxis from Tesla next year — not in all jurisdictions because we won't have regulatory approval everywhere," Musk said, according to TechCrunch.
The hope for Musk is that in most places the company won't need to create robotaxis, because owners will sublet their own vehicles when not in use, essentially letting their own cars earn their keep.
Because all new Teslas come with a self-driving computer chip, they should be quite happy being Uber rivals on the side. The company would take 25 to 30 per cent of revenue generated on this, while the owners take the rest. The car would get nothing other than the satisfaction of a job well done and maybe a fluffy dice in the mirror if the owner feels particularly generous.
"From our standpoint, if you fast forward a year, maybe a year and three months, but next year for sure, we'll have over a million robotaxis on the road," Musk said. "The fleet wakes up with an over the air update; that's all it takes," he added ominously.
This feels a little optimistic for next year, especially with the "regulatory approval" still required, but then that's perhaps not too surprising for a man who still thinks we can have a colony on Mars by 2026. Actually, with fewer regulations once you get beyond low orbit, getting robotaxis approved by governments may yet prove to be the greater challenge. µ
Another fine mesh
But, er, it'll be available in pink
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