Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed that the fully autonomous Tesla Robotaxi will be coming in 2024 during an earnings call last month. The upcoming vehicle will have no steering wheel or pedals offering the human drivers no option to take over and will feature a futuristic design.
“There’s going to be a dedicated robotaxi that is going to look quite futuristic-looking,” said Elon Musk. “I think it will be a very powerful product and will be a massive driver for Tesla’s growth,” he added.
Musk also revealed that the Robotaxi will go into mass production sometime in 2024 and the EV giant is currently working on a prototype for the same. The billionaire hinted that the Robotaxi will be a highly innovative and futuristic vehicle costing travelers lower than the cost of a bus.
Tesla Robotaxi Launch Date and Mass Production
Elon Musk has revealed that Tesla plans to announce the Robotaxi in 2023, and the vehicle will go into mass production in 2024. “The robotaxi will be unveiled sometime next year, and the company plans to mass-produce it by 2024,” said the 50-year-old Billionaire in the Q1 2022 Earnings Call.
Musk has also stated that the Robotaxi will feature full-self-driving capabilities and that’s one of the reasons its development may take some time and will move alongside the FSD’s development.
This isn’t the first time Musk has talked about an autonomous taxi as the plans for the vehicle were initially introduced in 2016. After that, in 2019, Musk promised that a fleet of self-driving taxis would launch in 2020.
However, Tesla’s upcoming vehicles including the Robotaxi, Cybertruck, Roadster, etc have all been delayed due to the global mishappenings. The upcoming years may feature important announcements from Tesla.
What are Tesla’s Plans for the Robotaxi?
Elon Musk has been teasing about Tesla working on a vehicle dedicated to robotaxi services. This time the billionaire talked about developing a custom vehicle having self-driving abilities to serve the purpose. However, this plan completely differs from their previous plans of using off-lease vehicles as robotaxis.
The off-lease plan was a genius take by Tesla where they would just take existing Tesla cars that came off-lease and quickly convert them into the Robotaxi. The latest vehicles like the Model 3 will be the easiest to convert as they only have to take out the pedals and the wheels and insert a good plate alongside some minor changes.
Tesla is preparing to have all their off lease cars running in their own robotaxi network, generating revenue for Tesla.
— Steven Elliott 🇨🇦 #FSDBetaCanadaTester 🇺🇦 (@stevenelliott) April 16, 2022
This also puts the lease customers at an advantage as they have already used around 40% of the vehicle’s depreciation and it could then serve greatly as an autonomous taxi. Tesla could’ve saved a lot of money with this plan that no other company could replicate.
However, it seems that the EV giant has dropped the off-lease plan to convert existing vehicles into autonomous taxis. They’d simply create a custom vehicle that Musk has been teasing for a long time and use for regular commuters.
Tesla Robotaxi Design, Specs, and Features
The Tesla Robotaxi is going to be a custom-built vehicle dedicated to the robotaxi service. “There’s going to be a dedicated robotaxi that is going to look quite futuristic-looking,” said Elon Musk. Although the company and the CEO didn’t tease a design, they stated it will be “quite futuristic-looking.”
Tesla is known to introduce groundbreaking and controversial designs for their vehicles. We’ve seen this previously with the Cybertruck. However, this time Tesla may not go that route as it wants to attract the masses to adopt its autonomous taxi service.
The design may look like an upgrade to existing vehicles but with more space. It could feature face-to-face seating, big sliding doors, easy access, and will be easy to clean. The design is one of the biggest advantages of building a custom vehicle.
Tesla may also use the Robezium design like the Cruise Origin and Zoox which uses a roughly symmetrical box with a trapezium-style shape. Apart from the design, Musk has promised the Robotaxi to feature a number of innovations and introduce much-needed features.
Musk Claims Tesla Robotaxi will Offer Lowest Cost per Mile
Musk has also claimed that the Robotaxi will be “fundamentally optimized to achieve the lowest fully considered cost per mile or km when counting everything.” The CEO believes the cost will be even cheaper than a subsidized bus ticket and it will ultimately be a major driving factor in Tesla’s growth.
Tesla building dedicated robotaxi highly optimized for autonomy. No a steering wheel or pedals. Lowest cost per mile vehicle.
Reveal the vehicle likely in 2023 and aspire to reach volume production in 2024. Will be Major driver of Tesla’s growth. https://t.co/9fttOUPVVg
— Alan Yap (alanyap.eth) (@alanyapxh) April 21, 2022
Tesla also acknowledged that its vehicles are largely inaccessible to the masses due to their high cost. The introduction of the Robotaxi will allow everyone to experience the premium futuristic exposure that Tesla vehicles offer.
Tesla Robotaxi will feature Full Self-Driving (FSD)
The Tesla Robotaxi will not feature a steering wheel and won’t have pedals either. It will be a vehicle “highly optimized for autonomy.” However, Tesla didn’t reveal if the upcoming vehicle would use the sensor suite that they’ve teased previously or if they’ll use a modified version of the Full-Self Driving software that costs $12,000.
Tesla is currently relying completely on a camera system while other companies have advanced over to using a combination of cameras, lidar, and radar. Tesla may also introduce the lidar sensor in their upcoming fleet of autonomous taxis.
The Tesla CEO has also promised that all Teslas with FSD capability will be able to drive much safer than any human in the future.
“Of any technology development I’ve ever been involved in, I’ve never really seen more false dawns, where it seems that we’re gonna breakthrough, but we don’t, as I’ve seen in Full Self Driving,” said Musk. “To solve Full Self Driving you actually have to solve real-world artificial intelligence, which nobody has solved,” he added.
Tesla seems to be accelerating their plans to compete with its rivals who have also announced dedicated robotaxis like Zoox, Cruise, and Waymo. It’ll be interesting to see how the EV giant will stand against other staple names in the industry.