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Home » Elon Musk claims that on August 8, he will reveal a Tesla robotaxi.

Elon Musk claims that on August 8, he will reveal a Tesla robotaxi.

by Kabir Khan
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Tesla

Elon Musk said on X that he would unveil the robotaxi at an event on August 8, just hours after he said Reuters was “lying” about Tesla‘s intentions to abandon its $25,000 low-cost EV and instead concentrate all of its efforts on a robotaxi.

Robotaxi

The news comes at a time when profits and sales of Tesla electric vehicles have declined, prompting the CEO and the company to look for a different product to increase sales and, at the very least, the stock price.

Earlier on Friday, Reuters reported, citing three unnamed sources and internal documents, that Tesla was giving up on its goal to produce a less expensive electric vehicle (EV) and would instead direct its resources toward a robotaxi that is being constructed on the same small EV platform that was intended to power the less expensive vehicle.

Robotaxi

Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.

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Musk claimed that Reuters was “lying” about X, the social network he owns, without providing any evidence. He refuted none of the details. A few hours later, Musk announced on X that the “Tesla Robotaxi” would be revealed on August 8.

For years, rumors have circulated suggesting that Tesla was developing these two cars. However, despite not having created a fully autonomous vehicle yet, Musk has appeared to be undecided about whether to prioritize a conventional car or one without a steering wheel or pedals, according to details in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Musk.

In mid-2022, the CEO resisted his engineers’ efforts to make reference to a vehicle with pedals and a steering wheel. The more conventional car version was maintained as a “shadow project” by engineering vice president Lars Moravy and lead designer Franz von Holzhausen while he pushed forward, Isaacson wrote at the time.

Robotaxi

For several years now, Musk has been teasing the possibility of autonomous Tesla cars. At the end of 2017, he stated in 2016 that Tesla would be able to drive itself across the country, but that didn’t happen. Aiming for an autonomous ride-sharing network in 2020, he also failed to deliver on his 2019 pledge to introduce the company’s first robotaxis. He predicted that by 2024, a specialized robotaxi devoid of a pedal board or steering wheel would be available for purchase.

Autopilot is the name of the driver-assistance system that comes standard on Tesla vehicles. Owners can upgrade to “full self-driving,” or FSD, for an extra $12,000. CEO Elon Musk has long maintained that this feature will eventually allow for fully autonomous driving. Tesla cars are not autonomous. Rather, FSD comes with a number of automated driving features that still need the driver to be alert and ready to take over at all times. These features include Summon, an automated parking feature, and Navigate on Autopilot, an active guidance system that can drive a vehicle from a highway on-ramp to an off-ramp while navigating through interchanges and changing lanes. Steering on city streets is another function that the system is meant to manage.

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