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Elon Musk Sets Date for Tesla’s Robotaxi

Elon Musk Sets Date for Tesla’s Robotaxi - NIRONT Marketplace
  • Elon Musk announces Tesla robotaxi debut on Aug. 8 amidst investor concerns.
  • Tesla yet to deliver on promised robotaxis despite earlier projections and focus on Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology.

Tesla will debut their robotaxi product on Aug. 8, CEO Elon Musk revealed via social media on X.

Musk has promised shareholders for years that a robotaxi would arrive, yet has failed to follow through with these hopes and vision. A date has now been set for its unveiling event as some investors become wary during a period of slow growth for his company.

Tesla shares surged over three percent following Musk’s Tweet.

Musk issued the release date on Friday following reports from Reuters of plans being scrapped for Tesla to introduce their low-cost electric car, without specifically calling out any falsities within their report. He accused Reuters of lying and claimed they provided false details in their story without providing specific examples to support this charge.

Elon Musk first announced to shareholders of Tesla’s cars would achieve full autonomy within three years and that by 2016, one could drive cross-country without human assistance by the end of that year.

Musk told investors during a fundraising call in 2019 that Tesla expected one million vehicles on the road within one year that could serve as “robotaxis“. Each car should be capable of performing 100 hours of work each week for its owner – earning money as such robotaxes according to Musk at that time.

Tesla still has not developed or delivered any robotaxis, autonomous vehicles or technology capable of turning its cars into “level 3” automated vehicles; however, Tesla offers advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). These include its standard Autopilot option as well as premium Full Self-Driving “FSD” option; both cost $199 monthly for subscribers in the United States or can be paid upfront at up to $12k upfront for FSD subscribers.

Musk implemented this measure last month as part of his end-of-quarter sales push and required all sales and service staff to install and demonstrate FSD for customers prior to handing them the keys. According to Musk in an email sent out to employees: “Almost no one really understands just how well (supervised FSD works. This requirement may slow the delivery process down slightly but nonetheless should not be overlooked as being necessary.”

Tesla’s premium option requires human drivers at the wheel for safety purposes – in case any emergency situations arise or any sudden changes arise during driving, steering or breaking are always on standby to accommodate driver control of any kind.

Musk has bet that Tesla customers and shareholders alike will remain faithful to his company regardless of self-driving delays and his controversial statements regarding X, the social network he acquired in 2022 and now runs as CTO while managing Tesla, SpaceX and their respective rocket and satellite internet businesses.

Some autonomous vehicle competitors are making headway.

Alphabet’s autonomous vehicle unit Waymo operates commercial driverless ride-hailing services in Phoenix, San Francisco and Los Angeles and is expanding to Tesla’s home base of Austin Texas. Furthermore, Waymo recently signed a multi-year partnership agreement with Uber whereby their robotaxis will deliver food for Uber Eats deliveries across Arizona. In China Didi operates its driverless unit commercially while various U.K. firms like Wayve and Zoox test their robotaxis further afield.

Other companies have had difficulty competing in an oversaturated market.

On Friday, Apple officially ended their self-driving unit and laid off 600 people associated with it, following an incident. Cruise was previously offering self-driving car services in San Francisco until regulatory scrutiny from an accident grounded its robotaxi fleet; local and federal governments began investigations; while Cruise leadership has also been replaced.

Tesla does not predict near-future availability dates when unveiling products; for instance, their fully electric heavy-duty truck, the Semi, was unveiled in 2017 but deliveries did not commence until December 2022 – even now they produce and sell only very few Semis!

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