Launching a robotaxi network has long been a part of Tesla’s vision for the future of the automotive industry. CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s Autonomy Day yesterday that the company now expects to launch its first robotaxis as it builds out its autonomous ride-sharing network next year.
“I feel very confident predicting that there will be autonomous robotaxis from Tesla next year — not in all jurisdictions because we won’t have regulatory approval everywhere,” Musk said. He didn’t specify the regulations that he was referring to but said that he’s confident Tesla will receive regulatory approval at some point next year.
Tesla owners will be able to take advantage of this network to basically have their cars earn them money when they don’t need the car. Owners will be able to add their self-driving enabled vehicles to the network which will operate on a model not unlike that of Uber. Tesla will keep up to 30 percent of the revenue from the rides while the car’s owner will pocket the rest. Musk also pointed out that in areas where not a lot of customers provide their own cars for sharing as part of the network, Tesla will step in with a dedicated fleet of robotaxis for the service.
Musk also mentioned during the event yesterday that all new Tesla cars are produced with its custom full autonomous driving chip. The chip is capable of making the car drive on its own entirely. “From our standpoint, if you fast forward a year, maybe a year and three months, but next year for sure, we’ll have over a million robotaxis on the road,” Musk predicted.
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