Tesla's 1 million robotaxis to hit US roads by next year - a threat to Uber and Lyft
Washington : Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Monday issued a statement saying that he is planning to put robotaxis on US roads by the next year; a move that will be directed in competition with taxi services like Uber and Lyft.
Robotaxis are essentially any Tesla vehicle with autonomous driving functionality. To turn a Tesla into a robotaxi, a car's owner simply adds it to the Tesla Network platform by way of the company's app.
Musk said that by "next year for sure, we will have over 1 million robotaxis on the road."
The people will be able to book a robotaxi via the same Tesla application, like they do for an Uber or Lyft. The only difference will be that there will be no driver in the car.
Musk acknowledged the regulatory limitations and that not all regions will openly approve the company's futuristic tech right away. Still, Tesla's chief exec said he's "very confident" in predicting the launch of the robotaxi program by next year in certain parts of the US.
Musk also predicts rides via robotaxis will cost significantly less. The average cost for a ride-share today is around $2-$3 per mile, he said, whereas Tesla's program will likely come out to be less than $0.18.
"The fundamental message that consumers should be taking today is that it is financially insane to buy anything other than a Tesla," Musk said. "It will be like owning a horse in three years. I mean, fine if you want to own a horse. But you should go into it with that expectation."