Any Tesla head will remember Elon Musk’s promise that there is going to be one million self-driving ‘Robotaxis’ on the streets by the end of 2020 – something we have all been waiting in anticipation for, for a while now. Sadly it is already April and Musk is yet to announce the concept – something the Tesla CEO doesn’t seem to be worried about – with Musk tweeting the following in response to being questioned about the Robotaxi’s release.
Functionality still looking good for this year. Regulatory approval is the big unknown.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 12, 2020
Obviously the big unknown is the regulatory approval of the US government, which for anyone who knows of, or has dealt with bureaucracy, will be aware this can take forever – and with only eight months of the year left, could cause some issues for the EV giant. However, it is not clear whether Tesla themselves have actually nailed down their self-driving technology, with the car manufacturer already offering ‘Full Self-Driving Capability’ as an additional $7000 optional extra despite never actually having a single road-legal vehicle with this installed.
Due to the technological advancement of the Tesla models, when their ‘Full Self Driving Capability’ is ready to be rolled out, it should be easily installed to existing models as part of a software update – with owners already spotting a small camera in the interior of their vehicle, to which Musk explains:
[It is] for when we start competing with Uber/Lyft & people allow their car to earn money for them as part of the Tesla shared autonomy fleet.
Tesla has delivered to their own deadlines in the past, particularly with the Model Y most recently, but in all honesty – we feel that delivering fully autonomous Robotaxis by the end of a year which has already been affected globally by COVID-19, is a bit of a stretch.
As with anything Tesla related, the Robotaxis are likely to raise the stock of the Palo Alto-based brand, which currently trades at $753.89 (as of April 20th 2020) per share. The stock has quite frankly soared in recent months due to the delivery of the highly anticipated Model Y, with also the delivery of the Roadster and Cybertruck to come as well. It is understood by a large number of financial experts who believe that Tesla is now the most valuable auto manufacturer in the world (worth approximately $138.80 billion), which would put them above the likes of Toyota and Volkswagen.
Without taking too much away from Tesla, there are a number of reasons why potential investors should be wary of purchasing shares for the company – for example, more than 600,000 people signed up to pre-order the Cybertruck but only had to pay a tiny $100 deposit, meaning that Tesla’s estimations on how many will be sold straight off the bat, might be well off. As well as this, the Cybertruck is second in line for production after the Roadster – which may slow down delivery for the Electric SUV even more.
Suffice to say, we’re really excited by what Tesla will be offering us over the coming months and years – we will, of course, keep you updated on all Mr Musk and Tesla’s plans/antics.