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Tesla Scraps Affordable Electric Vehicles, Announces Reveal Date of RoboTaxi

Published April 8, 2024 2:55 PM
Samantha Dunn
Published April 8, 2024 2:55 PM
Key Takeaways
  • Tesla prepares to unveil its long-awaited Robotaxi after canceling plans for a more affordable electric car.
  • Elon Musk’s vision for the Robotaxi includes integrating it into the “Tesla Network,” allowing owners to earn revenue.
  • Tesla seeks to demonstrate its progress in autonomous technology amidst scrutiny from regulators and the public over the safety and feasibility of its self-driving capabilities.

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, announced the company’s plan to unveil its much-anticipated Robotaxi  on August 8th. This announcement, shared on the social media platform X, was met with its share of skepticism and controversy.

Tesla’s Robotaxi has been a topic of speculation and anticipation for years. Musk has long been vocal about his vision of Tesla owners monetizing their vehicles by integrating them into a shared fleet. This would allow the cars to earn revenue by autonomously transporting passengers when not in use by their owners.

Goodbye To Affordable Electric Vehicles

This ambitious vision follows Tesla’s recent decision to cancel plans for a more affordable electric vehicle. Instead, Musk is steering the company’s focus toward perfecting autonomous technology, a shift that he believes will redefine the automotive landscape.

The concept of the Tesla Robotaxi is not new. In previous years, Musk teased audiences with glimpses of a covered vehicle at an event and made bold predictions about the capabilities of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) system. Despite the hype, the reality has often lagged behind, with Tesla’s autonomous technology facing scrutiny over safety concerns and regulatory hurdles.

Critics argue that Musk’s pronouncements about the imminent arrival of fully autonomous Teslas have frequently fallen short of actual progress. The company’s Autopilot and FSD systems, while advanced, have been involved in numerous incidents, raising questions about the readiness of these technologies for widespread use without human oversight.

Tesla Falls Short On Deliveries

Tesla reported delivery numbers that fell significantly short of Wall Street’s expectations, marking the company’s biggest delivery miss in the last seven years. This shortfall directly impacted Tesla’s stock, which saw a 4.9% decline, exacerbating the company’s downward trend in 2024 to a total loss of 33%.

Despite the anticipation built around Tesla’s performance, the first quarter of 2024 brought disappointment to investors and analysts alike. The electric vehicle giant’s sales figures failed to meet the already adjusted and more conservative estimates set by industry analysts. This underperformance led to a swift reaction from the stock market, with Tesla’s shares experiencing a notable drop.

A Critical Juncture for Tesla’s Image

The Robotaxi reveal likely aims to reshape perceptions of its technology’s safety and reliability while Tesla is bracing for a pivotal legal showdown. The company faces a high-profile trial centered on a crash allegedly linked to its Autopilot system.

Elon Musk has consistently championed Autopilot as a key stepping stone towards achieving full autonomy in Tesla vehicles, often touting the system’s advanced capabilities and safety features. However, the upcoming trial casts a shadow over these assertions.

This isn’t Tesla’s first encounter with the legal system over its Autopilot  system. The company has previously faced trials in California concerning accidents involving its vehicles—one resulting in a fatality and another with no casualties. In both instances, juries concluded that driver error was the primary cause, not Tesla’s technology.

As Tesla prepares for its August showcase, many will be watching to see if Robotaxi lives up to Musk’s grand expectations.


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