Technology 2 min read

Elon Musk Plans to Launch Autonomous Robotaxis Next Year

In a recent press conference, Elon Musk announced that he is confident that Tesla will have a fleet of autonomous robotaxis by next year.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During Tesla‘s Autonomy Day on Monday, Elon Musk announced the company’s plan to launch a fleet of autonomous robotaxis in 2020. Musk said:

“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 did not explain what regulations he was referring to but cited he’s confident that Tesla will receive regulatory approval next year. The tech billionaire reportedly got his enthusiasm from the data Tesla gathered from its vehicles cruising the roads today. The information is reportedly being used to improve the company’s autonomous vehicles’ software.

Also, in a similar business model as Uber and Airbnb, Tesla owners will be able to register their vehicles in a ride-sharing application. Tesla will reportedly take 25 to 30 percent of the revenue from each ride. The company will then provide a fleet of robotaxis in areas with less Tesla car owners to share their rides.

Autonomous Robotaxis

In the past, Uber and other companies like Taxify have been vocal with their plans of launching autonomous robotaxis. However, this is the first time that Musk has expressed his desire to create a fleet of his own. Since 2016, the Tesla CEO has only talked about a network of Tesla owners sharing their rides via a ride-hailing app.

To date, all Tesla cars are produced with a custom-built full self-driving computer chip. Musk also claimed it was the best car computer chip in the world today.

Aside from the chip, Tesla vehicles are also equipped with an array of sensors, cameras, and radars to keep them steady on the road when in auto-pilot mode. Unlike other self-driving cars, Teslas don’t have lidar or the light detection and ranging radar which allow autonomous vehicles to detect obstacles nearby.

According to Musk, the remaining features of the Tesla vehicle software will be completed next year, bringing the car’s reliability to a level where drivers no longer have to pay attention when the vehicle is in autonomous mode. During his keynote speech, Musk also noted that he sees a future where autonomous robotaxis would go home, park, and charge themselves without any driver intervention.

Read More: Is Tesla’s Autopilot Getting Worse?

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Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is an SEO content producer, technical writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with family and friends.

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