According to Elon Musk, the robotaxi will have the lowest cost per mile of any vehicle, including subsidized public transportation.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave some fascinating insights on the robotaxi project after briefly mentioning it during the Cyber Rodeo event at Giga Texas earlier this month.
On April 7, he revealed that Tesla would create a new standalone electric vehicle called a “dedicated robotaxi,” which would look “quite futuristic.” Musk discussed the robotaxi further during the Q1 earnings call on April 20, noting that when volume production begins in 2024, it will not have a steering wheel or pedals.
“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 a steering wheel or pedals. And there are a number of other innovations around it that I think are quite exciting.”
The CEO added that the robotaxi would be powered by Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Software, which was recently expanded to 100,000 beta users and will be expanded further this year.
Musk anticipates that the robotaxi would significantly increase Tesla’s revenue, though he did not provide specifics. The CEO said that a product reveal event is probable next year, and that Tesla will provide further information at that time.
“I think that really will be a massive driver of Tesla growth (…) We don’t want to jump the gun on an exciting product announcement yet.”
He did share one more tidbit of information regarding the cost of a future Tesla robotaxi ride: less than a subsidized public bus or subway ticket.
“It’s trying to achieve the lowest—fully considered—cost per mile, cost per kilometer, you know, accounting everything. I think it will be a very powerful product.”
Elon Musk’s Master Plan Part Deux, published in 2016, was the first to reference the Tesla robotaxi project. The Tesla CEO claimed at the time that the robotaxis will be standard Teslas with full self-driving capability. Tesla, on the other hand, is now working on a dedicated car for its robotaxi service. According to Musk’s statements, Tesla will use a freshly developed car for the purpose.
You can listen to the full Tesla Q1 2022 Financial Results and Q&A Webcast here: