Elon Musk says these Robotaxis will offer the lowest cost per mile of any public transport
This is a change of plans, since Tesla used to say it would use Model 3s as Robotaxis
Tesla began to talk about Robotaxis in 2016 and promised to have one million of them on the road in 2020
Tesla announced it will be building robotaxis without user controls starting in 2024, which is a significant change for the company’s original plans.
Tesla and its CEO, Elon Musk, are known to promise things and then change their minds. This appears to be another case where this has happened.
Back in 2016, Musk started talking about Robotaxis, a fleet of autonomous vehicles that could be used to transport fare-paying passengers around.
This part of the plan hasn’t changed, but its execution will be quite different from the initial proposal. Indeed, Tesla used to say its fleet of Robotaxis would use privately owned Model 3s equipped with FSD (Full Self-Driving) that would earn money for their owners while they didn’t need their car instead of sitting idle in their driveway. This was also the reason given by the automaker for preventing people from buying back their Model 3 at the end of the lease, saying that they were needed for Robotaxi duties.
This is not the case anymore. Elon Musk recently announced that Tesla is working on a specially designed Robotaxi that will not be just a modified version of one of their current models. According to the CEO, these vehicles will have a futuristic look and they will be devoid of any user controls, meaning there will not be pedals or a steering wheel.
These taxis are supposed to be launched in 2024, but they could be a bit further away, since the original plan called for a million Robotaxis to be on the road by 2020 and the self-driving software they will use has only begun testing on public roads at the end of last year.
Nevertheless, Musk claims that these Robotaxis will offer the lowest cost per mile of any public transport currently available, even those that are subsidized.
Tesla said to expect a product reveal next year, at which point more details should be known about the scheme and the vehicle itself.