NEW: Get Updates by Email

Musk Promises to Reveal Tesla Robotaxi in August

by | April 8, 2024

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet that the automaker will reveal its new robotaxi on August 8, 2024. According to recent reports, Tesla has scrubbed plans to build an “affordable” EV to focus resources on developing the driverless ride-sharing vehicle – though Musk said such reports are false.

Tesla has long been a proponent of autonomous driving technology, offering several different driver assistance packages such as Autopilot and Full-Self Driving. While they still require motorists to maintain a grip on the steering wheel, the automaker could show next-level technology later this year in the form of a fully driverless ride-sharing vehicle.

“Tesla Robotaxi unveil on 8/8,” CEO Elon Musk said in a new tweet posted on X, the former Twitter.

A long-standing promise

Tesla Roadster driving

Tesla has missed numerous targets, including the roll-out of its new Roadster.

Exactly what Tesla has in store remains to be seen. Questions sent to the Texas-based automaker went unanswered. It currently has no public relations department.

Musk has, however, made autonomous technology a keystone of the company’s long-term strategy since the first version of Autopilot was released back in 2014. Tesla followed up with a more advanced system, dubbed “Full-Self Driving,” though it officially remained a beta program until earlier this year.

On several occasions, Musk has told Tesla owners that they’d eventually be able to generate revenue when they weren’t driving their vehicles by using these technologies to let them operate as robocabs.

Promises unfulfilled

Tesla Model 3 Florida crash Aug 2021

A Tesla robocab could come under close scrutiny considering the safety concerns about its current Autopilot and FSD technologies.

The problem has been that neither Autopilot nor FSD have yet lived up to expectations. Both, according to the Tesla website, still require drivers to maintain hands on the steering wheel at all times – despite the fact that motorists have frequently posted videos showing them driving hands-free – in some instances falling asleep or moving to another seat in the vehicle.

By Comparison, both Ford’s BlueCruise and General Motors’ Super Cruise can be operated hands-free, albeit under specific conditions but, with the latest update, the GM technology can do so on more than 700,000 miles of U.S. and Canadian roadways.

Musk has repeatedly promised to take things to the next level with Autopilot and FSD, but the promised updates permitting hands-free operation again failed to materialize at the end of 2023.

More Robocab News

Shifting gears

Uber Eats Driverless Delivery v3

A Tesla robotaxi would face several competitors, including Google spin-off Waymo which recently launched a partnership with Uber Eats to use robocabs to deliver food in the Phoenix area.

The upcoming announcement from Tesla didn’t come entirely as a surprise. Reuters reported last week that Tesla was shelving a program aimed at developing an affordable EV, intended to come in around $25,000, to focus on its robotaxi program.

Musk responded in a tweet claiming the news service was “lying,” though he did not indicate specifically what part of the report he was objecting to. Again, the automaker failed to respond to queries.

Musk’s more recent tweet appears to indicate that Reuters did get right the new focus on driverless ride-sharing vehicles. And that has sent Tesla’s stock surging. As of mid-morning on Monday it was up nearly $7 a share – though it remains down substantially since the beginning of the year.

Robotaxis

Two years ago, Musk forecast that robotaxis would be “a massive driver of Tesla’s growth,” while indicating a goal of debuting them in 2024.

He indicated that such a vehicle might not have conventional controls – meaning it would operate entirely without a driver at all times. As a result, it would be “fundamentally optimized for trying to achieve the lowest fully considered cost per mile, cost per kilometer, accounting everything.”

That’s why Tesla is by no means the only company looking to field fleets of self-driving cabs.

Google spin-off Waymo is already operating various types of autonomous vehicles in numerous cities across the U.S. It also announced a deal this month to handle deliveries for Uber Eats in the Phoenix area. Separately, General Motors’ Cruise subsidiary has been working on robocabs and has developed a model, dubbed Origin, without conventional controls.

Cruise’s robotaxi service currently is on hold, however, as a result of a crash that caused serious injuries to a pedestrian in San Francisco last year.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Our Mailing List is Live!
Get Updates by Email

Get on our list to receive the latest automotive news in your inbox!

Invalid email address
Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Share This