Tesla vehicles have become increasingly popular over the years due to their innovative design. Tesla established a reputation as pioneer in the world of technologically advanced cars. Sure, there have always been other cars that use the same technology as a Tesla, but the American automotive giants have been able to not only meet but exceeds the standards of an electric car by making some of the fastest and most powerful cars that are capable of outperforming some of the most impressive combustible engines.
Now Tesla has decided to raise the bar once again by creating a new kind of technology that will turn the already impressive Tesla into a fully-automated self-driving vehicle. Tesla’s co-founder and CEO, Elon Musk, just recently gave new details about the new self-driving ‘robo’ Tesla that is set to come out in the market sometime in the near future. Here is what we know about Tesla’s new robotaxi.
What is the ‘robo’ Tesla?
From 2014 until 2016, Tesla started including a high-tech feature in its cars that would give a vehicle the ability to drive itself. The autopilot feature would perform certain driving tasks for you, such as steering, applying the breaks, and accelerating, without the driver having to move a muscle. The new feature was impressive, but it also had a few faults. For instance, if the road was covered in snow or any other debris that prohibited the car’s cameras and sensors from detecting the lines on the road, then the autopilot feature would not work properly.
This year, however, Elon Musk announced that his company has taken the autopilot feature up a notch by creating a more responsive computer chip that will enable the car to be 100% self-driven. Tesla teamed up with Samsung in order to make the new chip and it is supposedly 21 times better than the previous chip that was used to control the autopilot feature. It has been suggested that the new chip will completely eliminate the need for a driver behind the wheel of a Tesla.
The future of the Tesla ‘robotaxi’
Starting this year, all new Tesla models will come equipped with the new high-performance computer chip. Tesla owners who have a car that is equipped with the new technology will now be able to use Tesla’s new ride-sharing app that will essentially turn their car into a self-driving taxi service. According to TechCrunch, owners will be able to use their cars as a source of income without having to actually drive the car. Tesla will reportedly be taking 25% to 30% of the revenue from each ride that is given.
Musk says that he expects the new robotaxi to one day replace other ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber. Musk says that next year, he expects to have 1 million robotaxis on the road. But what if there aren’t enough Tesla owners who are willing to use their cars as a ride-sharing service? Elon Musk says that it will be no problem because Tesla will have a full fleet of self-driving cars that it will be using as robotaxis.
Will the new ‘robo’ car be the most expensive Tesla yet?
It’s not clear just yet how much Tesla’s new robotaxi will cost. According to MarketWatch, Elon Musk recently took to Twitter to say that the new fully autonomous cars would be considerably more expensive than Tesla’s previous cars. According to Musk this is because “a fully autonomous car that can function as a robotaxi is several times more valuable than a non-autonomous car.”
In another tweet, Elon Musk said that on August 16, the cost of the self-driving option will increase by $1,000 and he expects the price will continue to increase “every few months.”
However, Musk has also said that he expects the new robotaxis to appreciate in value over time. He said that he expects to be able to equip older Tesla cars with the new self-driving computer chip as well.
Inverse reports that there is a possibility that when a current car is properly equipped with the new self-driving hardware, it could make the value of the car increase to roughly around $250,000. Given the fact that a new Tesla car can cost anywhere between $38,000 and $79,000, the appreciation value is quite impressive.