Image: The Boring Company
Transport, which can deliver people quickly, conveniently, cheaply, and in an environmentally friendly way, is an important component of improving the climate situation. To achieve this goal, Tesla intends to develop a dedicated robotaxi without a steering wheel or pedals, which could start production in 2024.
During Cyber Rodeo—the Giga Texas opening event—Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that the company will create a dedicated autonomous robotaxi that will "look futuristic." This means that the company will develop a new vehicle that will be designed specifically to operate on the Robotaxi network, thus making it ideal for transporting people. However, he did not give any more details, leaving inquisitive minds to fantasize about what these vehicles could be like.
During the Q1 2022 Earnings Call, Musk went into more detail about this, even sharing a tentative production timeline. According to the description, robotaxi will be something that is unusual for our understanding of the cars that are currently on the roads. Musk said it would not have a steering wheel or pedals and would be specifically optimized for autonomy.
"So, we're also working on a new vehicle that I alluded to at the Giga Texas opening, which is a dedicated robotaxi. That's highly optimized for autonomy, meaning it would not have steering wheel or pedals. And there are a number of other innovations around it that I think are quite exciting."
The head of Tesla explained that the vehicle is fundamentally optimized to try to achieve "the lowest fully considered cost per mile or cost per kilometer, accounting everything."
"I think, especially with the robotaxi and autonomy, I think we will end up providing consumers with, by far, the lowest cost per mile of transport that they've ever experienced. Yes. I mean with robotaxi, like maybe 5 to 10 times cost per mile. It's really quite substantial!," Musk said.
"I mean, looking at some of our projections, it would appear that a robotaxi ride will cost less than a bus ticket, a subsidized bus ticket or subsidized subway ticket," he later added.
According to Musk and Senior Vice President, Powertrain and Energy Engineering at Tesla Andrew Baglino, the impression is that the project has been in development for some time, and may even have a prototype that probably still needs to be finalized. The Giga Texas building has long included an area called "Future Development" which is likely to be where robotaxis will be made.
Musk said Tesla won't be too rushed to announce a new product. He said that probably next year there will be a robotaxi event where the new vehicle will be unveiled. He also said that the company aims to start mass production in 2024, and robotaxi will eventually be "a massive driver of Tesla’s growth."
"So, I think we want to hold up on -- we don't want to jump the gun on an exciting product announcement too much. So, I think, we'll aim to -- we do a product event for robotaxi next year and get into more detail, but we are aiming for volume production in 2024."
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.