Tesla listed Robotaxi under the list of vehicles that it is currently developing. It is stated to be a “future product” on which the automaker works. In the Q2 2022 update letter, Tesla has various vehicles listed under developments – Cybertruck, Roadster, and Tesla Semi where the last on the list was Robotaxi.
On various occasions, references to Tesla’s Robotaxi have been shared by CEO Elon Musk in the past. However, the vehicle that would be used in the service has somewhat been updated over the years. In Elon Musk’s Master Plan Part Deux and in 2019’s Autonomy Day, Musk suggested that Tesla’s Robotaxi service would be comprised of vehicles like the Model 3.
Tesla seemed to double down on this strategy when it launched its Model 3 leasing program. Unlike traditional leasing systems, Model 3s that were under the lease were not available for purchase once the lease matured. According to Tesla, this was because it would be using the off-lease vehicles for its autonomous ride-hailing network.
More recently, and as the FSD Beta program expanded, Tesla’s strategy for its own Robotaxi fleet appears to have changed. During the Cyber Rodeo at Gigafactory Texas in April, Elon Musk noted that the Robotaxi would be a completely new “futuristic” vehicle. This suggested that Tesla would be designing a dedicated car for its ride-hailing service.
Furthermore, comments about the upcoming vehicle were shared later during the Q1 2022 earnings call, when CEO Elon Musk provided a few hints about the Robotaxi’s features. According to Musk, Tesla’s Robotaxi will be built around FSD, so it would not even have steering wheels or pedals anymore.
“We’re also working on a new vehicle that I alluded to at the Giga Texas opening, which is a dedicated robotaxi that’s highly optimized for autonomy, meaning it would not have [a] steering wheel or pedals. And there are a number of innovations around it that I think is quite exciting. But it’s trying to achieve the lowest — fully considered — cost-per-mile, cost-per-kilometer, accounting for everything. I think it’s gonna be a very powerful product,” Musk said.
Very few details about the Robotaxi have been shared by Tesla apart from Elon Musk’s brief comments on the vehicle. However, considering comments from Tesla executives during the Q2 2022 earnings call, it would definitely seem that the Robotaxi will be built with simplicity and efficiency in mind. It is possible that the automaker is looking for possibilities and working on finding the potential of building a robotaxi.