Will Tesla Launch a 'Robotaxi' Network With Tesla Drivers?

By Not a Tesla App Staff
Not a Tesla App

During Tesla’s Q1 earnings call, Tesla talked about its plan for its upcoming robotaxi network and even showed off a design for the app that would allow customers to request vehicles, much like Uber and Lyft.

While Tesla plans to unveil the robotaxi, officially now called CyberCab this August, a true autonomous taxi is at the very least, a couple of years away. So why is Tesla so eager to show off an app and start offering a Tesla taxi service?

in 2023 Uber had a revenue of 37.28 billion, while Lyft had a much smaller revenue of 4.4 billion. For comparison, Tesla’s revenue last year was 96.77 billion. A taxi service, even one operated by humans can be incredibly lucrative. While Tesla’s ultimate goal may be an automated taxi service, they may be itching to get into the space.

Tesla’s robotaxi was initially supposed to be a taxi service owners would lend their vehicles to. While that’s still the plan, Tesla wants their own vehicles to be a part of the service as well.

Will the Robotaxi Service Start With Tesla Drivers?

Tesla comparing themselves to Airbnb and Uber during their earnings call is intriguing. While Tesla can start producing robotaxis almost whenever they want, it’d likely be smart to wait until autonomy is solved so they’re not limiting themselves to current FSD hardware.

While full autonomy is likely several years away, Tesla seems to be eager to make this push toward a Tesla-owned service. Is Tesla thinking about operating their own Uber-like service? Tesla could be thinking about releasing their future robotaxi app and service in “beta,” letting current Tesla owners operate their own vehicles on the service.

This could result in several benefits for Tesla, not only letting them test their service but also opening up another revenue stream. This would allow Tesla to start operating their robotaxi network as soon as this year, and then slowly replace drivers and owner vehicles with Tesla-owned robotaxis.

Tesla Shows Off Robotaxi App

Tesla showed off it's robotaxi app
Tesla showed off it's robotaxi app
Not a Tesla App

At the earnings call, Tesla also showed off a design of their robotaxi app. While it feels early to design an app for a service that could be years away, Tesla appears to be preparing itself for the future and getting customers excited about the prospect.

Tesla showed off five screens of the app, essentially showing how you’d request a robotaxi, how you can view its progress, and control certain features of the vehicle. Through the various screens, you can see most of Tesla’s Autopilot features coming to fruition in terms of autonomy, such as summon, self-driving and eventually Autopark.

Summon - Much like Tesla has re-thought the interior of a car and so many features, you can see the same mechanics applied to the app. To request a vehicle, you simply hold down a summon button and you’ll be presented with an estimate of when a vehicle will arrive.

Set Preferences and Destination - On the second screen, you can see the vehicle’s current location on a 3D map, possibly alluding to future FSD visualizations. It also lets you set your destination and set the climate temperature to your preference.

Trip Progress - While you’re traveling in the vehicle, you’ll be able to view trip information as well as set entertainment options.

Recap

Tesla had a lot to talk about during their earnings call and specifically about the Robotaxi — more information was revealed than ever before.

While there are various things at play to make a service like this come together, we can easily separate them out into separate components.

There’s the robotaxi itself, which Musk recently said would be similar to Tesla’s next-gen vehicle without a steering wheel. However, during this earnings call, he revealed that Tesla will save its new “unboxed” manufacturing process for the robotaxi and use a more traditional method for their next vehicle.

Then there’s FSD itself, while it’s crucial to operating a driverless robotaxi network, it’s not necessary to start a Tesla taxi service.

The last piece is the ride-hailing component itself and how it’s managed, and Tesla was happy to show this off, which makes us believe that it may be closer to reality than many think. While Tesla needs all three of these components to come together to operate a true robotaxi network, they piece them together separately, much like they’ve done with Autopilot. Initially, Tesla only released auto-steer then slowly added on summon, Autopark and city driving.

When we look back at Tesla five years from now, we may very well look back to this earnings call and say this was the pivotal moment when Tesla started transitioning to a services company.

Tesla Announces FSD Transfers Will Return for One More Quarter; More FSD Trials Coming

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

During Tesla’s shareholder meeting, Elon Musk was asked if FSD transfers could return for existing owners. He hemmed and hawed, but eventually gave in when an audience member asked if they could return for just one more quarter.

Final Chance?

This could be the last chance for FSD owners to transfer their FSD capability to a new vehicle. Elon Musk mentioned that it removes revenue from upcoming vehicle sales. Every time Tesla offers FSD transfers, it impacts Tesla’s potential earnings.

On the flip side, it does incentivize current owners to upgrade to newer vehicles, especially if it’s a limited-time offer. Tesla previously offered FSD transfers in Q3 of 2023. FSD transfers are expected to be limited to North America where FSD software is currently available.

When Will Tesla Offer FSD Transfers

Musk nor Tesla mentioned a timeline for when FSD transfers would begin. Tesla owners looking to upgrade their vehicles would likely wait for this offer to be available before buying their new Tesla. Since this would reduce some vehicle sales, it seems that Tesla wouldn’t want to wait too long before making FSD transfers available again.

FSD Transfers in the Future

While Elon Musk didn’t seem to be too enthused with the idea of continuing transfers but gave in to “just one more quarter”, there could be more down the road.

Musk has said that Tesla has various demand “levers” they can use to increase or slow demand as needed. FSD transfers and Tesla’s referral program are prime examples of those levers. Although Musk says Tesla will only offer FSD transfers one more time, Tesla won’t hesitate to offer it again if they need to increase sales. Tesla faced this situation when the new Model 3 was unveiled in China, but it took several months for it to be offered in North America.

Additional FSD Trials

Elon Musk confirmed that two free weeks of FSD would be given to all vehicle owners whenever a major FSD update hits. We don’t expect another trial of FSD with the upcoming update of v12.4, but perhaps with v12.5 or 12.6, especially if Tesla adds new features such as ‘Actually Smart Summon,’ which will be the first time Smart Summon is available on a vehicle without ultrasonic sensors.

With Tesla’s app update to v4.34 yesterday, it appears that Tesla may be looking to offer a live video feed of the vehicle’s various cameras while you’re summoning your Tesla.

Tesla Talks Robotaxi Details, Hardware 5.0 and More - Complete Shareholder Meeting Recap and Notes

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Did you miss the Shareholder Meeting? Want to know what Elon Musk said?

We’ve got an easy-to-read recap for you below, split by sections. We’ll be writing more in-depth about many of these topics over the upcoming days as we unpack all the awesome news!

Robotaxi

  • Fleet monetization planning is ongoing.

  • Owners will be able to send their cars to the Robotaxi fleet and summon them back when they need them.

  • Tesla will take a margin, but most of the income will go to owners.

  • Tesla has plans to solve driverless interventions in the future, but expects them to be edge cases of edge cases.

FSD

  • Headed towards Unsupervised FSD!

  • New subversions are essentially new full versions; 12.4 and 12.5 are massive updates.

  • Expect a 2-5x increase in performance between versions.

  • Major versions will include a 2-week free trial.

  • 10 thousand miles between interventions for some internal builds.

  • Hardware 4 training will begin later this year, Hardware 3 will continue to be developed.

  • Hardware 5 is 18 months from retail release.

Optimus

  • Optimus will be able to do many simple and difficult tasks:

    • Teaching

    • Companionship

    • Babysitting

    • Factory Work

  • Tesla expects 2 humanoid robots per person in the future.

  • Tesla expects 1000-2000 robots working in its factories by next year, with a limited production run.

  • 22 degrees of freedom in the next generation hand, one new major hardware revision coming this year.

Cybertruck

  • China and Europe-compliant Cybertruck coming after production is scaled and costs are reduced.

  • Foundation series ending soon, non-foundation series starting next quarter.

Semi

  • Semi is in low-volume production, high-volume production starting soon.

  • Companies are actively choosing Semi due to economic advantages.

  • Massive potential impact on carbon emissions

  • Big impact on the profitability.

Other New Products

  • New products are coming soon, and Tesla is working hard on them.

  • Possible 12-passenger van, added to the “To-do” list.

Supercharger

  • 58K global sites, and continuing to grow.

  • More superchargers deployed this year than the rest of the industry combined.

  • Tesla is providing adapters to other car companies and providing them with support for Supercharger access.

  • Tesla is moving to fill gaps and relieve congestion where possible.

Battery Production and Stationary Storage

  • New 4680 innovations, best cell from a manufacturing and efficiency standpoint.

  • 4680 will be a continuing focus to improve over time.

  • Tesla has made their battery supply chain stronger and is working on further vertical integration.

  • 2023 had 15GWh of Megapack production, 2024 is looking closer to 40GWh.

  • 100-200% growth rate in the energy storage market.

  • Tesla is constrained by Megapack and Powerwall 3 production, can’t keep up with demand, even as they scale rapidly.

AI and Compute

  • AI growth is on a weekly basis, with Tesla taking in video and training on decision-making faster than ever.

  • Tesla is not compute-limited for FSD, but scenario-limited.

  • There is an AWS-style opportunity for parked vehicles to run distributed inference and compute.

  • Tesla intends to introduce LLMs with customizable learning personalities to Optimus and its vehicle lineup.

Investor Facts

  • Elon Musk expects $5-10 Trillion valuation for autonomy, and $20 Trillion for Optimus.

  • Musk mentioned that Ark Invest has the closest scenario – with Robotaxi releasing in 2025 or 2026, for a 110x valuation increase.

  • Elon’s stock award isn’t cash, and he has no intent to cut-and-run and is with Tesla for the long haul to accomplish the mission.

Other Items

  • Tesla Home HVAC, with a built-in HEPA filter, humidity control, super-efficient, super-quiet, with Powerwall integration – one day.

  • Kids Factory Tour Event – for children under 12!

If you’d like to watch the shareholder meeting, you can view it here, along with all the stockholder vote results.

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