Tesla CEO Elon Musk has unveiled plans to bring robotaxis on the roads in 2020. He shared these plans as part of a broader vision for an autonomous ride-sharing network during the company’s Autonomy Day.
“I feel very confident predicting autonomous robotaxis for Tesla next year,” said Musk. He also pointed out that these robotaxis won’t be available in all jurisdictions “because we (Tesla) won’t have regulatory approval everywhere.”
The robotaxi network will have a similar business model to Uber or Airbnb where Tesla owners can add their self-driving vehicles through a ride-sharing app.
Tesla will take 25-30% of the revenue from those rides and provide the rest to the owners. Places where there aren’t enough owners to share their cars, Tesla would provide a dedicated fleet of robotaxis.
To ensure that the Tesla robocabs work flawlessly, Musk is placing his faith in the amount of data his company can gather from Tesla vehicles already running on the road today; this data will be used later to improve the software for self-driving taxis.
Musk also predicted that within two years, Tesla will make cars with no steering wheels or pedals. Although the CEO plans to bring 1 million robotaxis on the road next year, he also warns that “sometimes I am not on time, but I get it done.”
Elon Musk has a history of missing the mark on multiple occasions, and many of his “preposterous plans” are yet to see the light of day.
Be it the giant anime robot he planned to build or a cyborg dragon or the Tesla branded Tequila, we are yet to see any of these become a reality. Let’s hope that we get to see the robotaxis next year.