Elon Musk: Tesla to Reveal Robotaxi on August 8

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Last week, reports surfaced that Tesla had canceled its affordable car project as CEO Elon Musk pivoted to focus on autonomous taxis. Though he called the reports fake news, Musk is pressing ahead with his plan to develop Robotaxis, but said the company would reveal the taxi project on August 8.

Musk made the announcement in a post on X/Twitter last Friday but didn’t elaborate further. The company’s valuation has depended heavily on its autonomous tech, though it’s faced enduring scrutiny over how it monitors drivers to ensure safe use of the features. Tesla stock rose more than three percent on the news last week.

Though Musk has repeatedly touted Tesla’s Full Self-Driving tech as the future of driving, it’s only a Level 2 system that requires constant driver attention and the ability to take over for the computers at any time. Other companies, including GM’s Cruise, have tried to crack the autonomous taxi nut over the years, but repeated accidents and safety failures have suppressed public trust and interest and riled regulators.

Even with an August reveal, Tesla’s timeline is unclear. The company has no shortage of driving data from millions of driver miles using its FSD tech, but that won’t replace live testing and troubleshooting in real-world situations. Tesla has also toyed with its sensor configurations, opting to rely on camera tech instead of LiDAR and the sensor arrays employed by Cruise and others, so it will be interesting to see how it configures the Robotaxis.

[Image: Beach Media via Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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11 of 21 comments
  • Aja8888 Aja8888 on Apr 08, 2024

    VoGhost.....my cell sends the message. It's doing the calling, so to say. The 1-800-UBER is a metaphor.

    • VoGhost VoGhost on Apr 09, 2024

      Stick to the day job. Metaphors aren't your superpower.

  • Paul Paul on Apr 08, 2024

    Will a Robotaxi be less expensive or more punctual than an Uber? If not, why bother? Personally, I enjoy meeting the drivers.

    • VoGhost VoGhost on Apr 09, 2024

      It will be less expensive, because the highest cost component of a taxi ride is the driver. Over time, it will become more punctual, because it's a superior business model, and people will stop driving taxis and ubers.

  • Jeff Jeff on Apr 08, 2024

    I believe Tesla would be better off investing in the sub 30k EV which would increase their market share and be first. A compact EV pickup and/or a small EV crossover.

    • See 2 previous
    • VoGhost VoGhost on Apr 09, 2024

      Tomayto, tomahto. The robotaxi you will see on August 8 _IS_ the small, inexpensive Model 2. It just happens to be the version without a steering wheel, which won't go on sale for several years.

  • D D on Apr 09, 2024

    It's astounding that so many, especially the media, continue to give Musk and Trump the benefit of the doubt. Both have time and again demonstrated they don't deserve it. They are playing us.

    • See 1 previous
    • D D on Apr 10, 2024

      Musk has had success, so has Trump. Both produce undesirable results as well. What bothers me about them is they don't care about the public. We're all marks, and they are playing us for their own benefit.