Published on October 20th, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan0
Tesla Robotaxis — How Long Until You’re Cashing In?
October 20th, 2016 by Zachary Shahan
As you must have seen by now, Teslas with self-driving hardware are already going into production. This is pretty amazing, and it has happened much sooner than most of us thought it would. But hey, that’s just the hardware — when are the robotaxis coming?
The question many of us are aching to have answered is pretty simple: When will the software be implemented that genuinely makes your Tesla a fully self-driving car that can be used as a robotaxi and can make you money?
That is still up in the air, of course. We don’t even know yet how long it will be until the self-driving software on the new Teslas will be activated.
Clearly, full self-driving capabilities are going to be available for use only after regulators sign off on the tech, but the crystal ball seems to say that’s just around the corner. In Tesla’s “Master Plan, Part Deux,” Elon wrote, “We expect that worldwide regulatory approval will require something on the order of 6 billion miles (10 billion km).” Based on current Tesla sales trends and average miles driven, a couple billion miles could be put on the Tesla vehicles with the new hardware in just a couple of years. If you throw in 100,000 or so Tesla Model 3 super sedans at the end of next year, as well as ongoing Model S and Model X sales, then Tesla may be hitting 6 billion miles in just a few years.
Is the door then open for the Tesla robotaxis? Will I then be able to have my Model 3 go out and transport people around like an Uber without a driver, making me some extra income?
Not sure what I’m talking about? Referencing Tesla’s second master plan yet again, Elon wrote, “You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost.”
With all of that background out of the way, the question I have is: How long until you’re cashing in? Chime in with your guess via this survey: