Elon Musk Says Tesla Is Developing a Robotaxi Vehicle

by Taylor Cunningham
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Tesla owners are shelling out thousands of dollars to load their electric cars with Robotaxi capabilities. If all goes as planned, self-driving cars could be worth $100,000 or more in the near future.

At a Glance

  • Tesla has announced plans to equip cars with Robotaxi capabilities
  • The technology will allow owners to use their vehicles for autonomous ride-hailing purposes
  • The feature cost recently jumped by $7,000 because of new functionalities
  • Elon Musk is still waiting on government approval to use the hardware and software
  • The company hopes Full Self-Driving functions will be running sometime this year
  • The CEO also shared news about the Tesla Model Y and Cybertruck

A New Feature will Allow Owners to Turn their Teslas into Robotaxi

While celebrating the opening of Tesla’s new Giga Texas factory yesterday (April 7), Elon Musk shared the news of his “futuristic” Robotaxi technology that drivers are lining up to buy.

Apparently, people have been paying $12,000 to add a full self-driving feature to their cars. And while Tesla owners can’t use the feature just yet, it will be unlocked in the future.

Until recently, the technology only cost $5,000. But the company added some new, impressive functions. And once the government grants regulatory approval, owners will be able to send their cars out on the road to serve as fully autonomous ride-share taxis. And Elon Musk thinks the business opportunity will make all equipped Teslas worth $100,000.

While he didn’t dedicate much time speaking about the concept, he did hint that the Tesla Robotaxi will help the country’s efforts to phase out gas-dependent vehicles.

“What I can say is we’re gonna move to truly massive scale – scale that no company has ever achieved in the history of humanity. That has to happen to transition the world to sustainable energy. Massive scale, Full Self-Driving, there’s gonna be a dedicated Robotaxi that’s gonna look quite futuristic,” he said.

Elon Musk also didn’t offer a timeline for his Robotaxi rollout. But in the past, he told customers that Full Self-Driving Teslas would be functioning in 2017. And while he hasn’t been reliable at guessing when the technology will be ready or when the government will grant regulatory permission, he told shareholders in January that his “personal guess is that we’ll achieve full self-driving this year.”

Aside from the Robotaxi feature, Elon Musk announced that the Tesla van project is temporarily paused due to battery supply issues. He also noted that his new Austin location will focus on producing the Tesla Model Y. And eventually, it will pick up the slack on the Cybertruck. Currently, customers are expecting a three-year wait on preorders.

Outsider.com