Everything we know about the Tesla Robotaxi

By Jorge Aguirre
Tesla to develop their own autonomous taxi
Tesla to develop their own autonomous taxi
The Boring Company

We have been hearing about Tesla’s Robotaxi concept for quite a few years, but it seems like we're getting close to it finally becoming a reality.

Here is everything we know about the Robotaxi.

Master Plan Part Deux

The history of Tesla’s Robotaxi starts with CEO Elon Musk's Master Plan Part Deux, published in 2016.

At the time the concept was touted as normal Teslas with full self-driving (FSD) capability.

Once Tesla achieved Full Self-Driving, they would create a “Tesla Network” taxi service that would make use of both Tesla owned vehicles and customer cars that would be hired out when not in use.

In April 2022, however, at the inauguration of Tesla’s new factory in Austin, Texas, Musk made headlines by announcing that the company would be working on a dedicated Robotaxi vehicle that would be “quite futuristic-looking”.

A Variety of Robotaxis

There will be specialty cars built for a certain task
There will be specialty cars built for a certain task
StylePark

In a way, developing a purposely built vehicle makes sense in order to add certain desirable features we expect to see in the Robotaxi, such as face-to-face seating, big sliding doors providing easy access, 4-wheel steering, easier cleaning, etc.

Tesla could even create a variety of Robotaxis that help meet specific needs. For example, Tesla could offer a vehicle that is betrer suited for resting, which could let you sleep on the way to your destination.

Another vehicle could be similar to a home office, offering multiple monitors and accessories that let you begin working as soon as you step inside the vehicle.

Features such as these could bring huge quality of life improvements for some; giving some people an hour or two back in your day.

The variety of Robotaxis doesn't need to end there. There could be other vehicles that are made specifically for movie watching and entertainment or others that allow you to relax and converse with friends, much like you'd expect in a limosine.

Lowest Cost Per Mile

At a time when several companies have announced dedicated robotaxi plans, most notably Zoox, Cruise, and Waymo, Tesla’s plan seem to be accelerating in order to compete with these options.

Additional details on Tesla’s vision for the future of the Robotaxi just emerged during the conference call after the release of Tesla's Q1 2022 financial results.

During the call, Musk stated that the vehicle will be focused on cost per mile, and will be highly optimized for autonomy - meaning it will not have steering wheel or pedals.

“There are a number of other innovations around it that I think are quite exciting, but it is fundamentally optimized to achieve the lowest fully considered cost per mile or km when counting everything”, he said.

During the call, Tesla acknowledged that its vehicles are largely inaccessible for many people given their high cost and sees the introduction of Robotaxis as a way of providing customers with “by far the lowest cost-per-mile of transport that they’ve ever experienced. The CEO believes that the vehicle is going to result in a cost per mile cheaper than a subsidized bus ticket, and that it will ultimately be a major driver of Tesla’s growth.

Release Date

During the Q1 2022 earnings call, Elon talked a little about the timeline for Tesla's Robotaxi. Tesla plans to announce the vehicle in 2023 and begin mass production in 2024.

The difficulty in releasing an autonomous taxi is the self-driving aspect, which Tesla is still actively developing. The Robotaxi's release date will continue to shift in line with Tesla's progress on FSD.

Full Self-Driving

During the earnings call there was no mention of the sensor suite that Tesla is considering for the vehicle but, or whether it would use a modified version of the company’s Full-Self Driving software to navigate its surroundings autonomously.

Their current approach relies solely on a camera system, unlike other automakers who are betting on a combination of cameras, lidar and radar.

During the call Musk seemed confident that their method would pay off later this year.

“With respect to full self-driving, of any technology development I’ve been involved in, I’ve never really seen more false dawns or where it seems like we’re going to break through, but we don’t, as I’ve seen in full self-driving,” said Musk. “And ultimately what it comes down to is that to sell full self-driving, you actually have to solve real-world artificial intelligence, which nobody has solved. The whole road system is made for biological neural nets and eyes. And so actually, when you think about it, in order to solve driving, we have to solve neural nets and cameras to a degree of capability that is on par with, or really exceeds humans. And I think we will achieve that this year.”

Musk has promised that all Teslas with FSD capability will be able to drive magnitudes safer than a human in the future. However, it's not clear if Tesla stills plans to allow customers to hire out their vehicles as taxis in the future.

If Tesla is successful in achieving an autonomous driving vehicle that costs less than a subsidized bus ticket, that would revolutionize car ownership.

In the future it could actually be cheaper to use one of Tesla's Robotaxis than to own your own car.

Plus, you'll have the added benefits of being able to relax, and reach your destination safer and quicker than driving yourself.

Tesla tops 40,000 Superchargers; new site to have four solar canopies

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla's Quartzsite Supercharger will have four solar canopies
Tesla's Quartzsite Supercharger will have four solar canopies
Tesla

Tesla now has 40,000 Supercharger stations worldwide, and more are in the works, including a massive 88-stall facility in a small town in Arizona. @MarcoRPTesla, who has a knack for finding Supercharger plans, tweeted the detailed construction project. The drawings show 20 prefabricated Supercharger units, two trailer-friendly stalls, and four solar canopies.

Quartzsite, Arizona, with a population of 2,413, is the location of the huge Supercharging station. Incredibly, it is being built right across the road from a 36-stall Supercharger. So why is there now one Supercharger for every 20 people in Quartzsite? Interstate 10 runs through the small town, which is at the intersection of U.S. Route 95 and Arizona State Route 95 with I-10.

Tesla's Quartzsite Supercharger will have four solar canopies
Tesla's Quartzsite Supercharger will have four solar canopies
Tesla

This location is approximately three and a half hours away from Las Vegas, Nevada, San Diego, California, and Los Angeles, California. It is also two hours from Phoenix, Arizona. Tourism is the main economic driver of the small town.

Tesla recently asked followers of its @TeslaCharging Twitter account to submit locations where Superchargers are needed. This location makes sense with the amount of traffic going through the area. It also has very little precipitation, which means those solar canopies will be powered up by the sun. That is another long-term vision of the company, to have solar and battery packs at Supercharging locations.

Also, the company plans to allow non-Teslas at its Supercharger locations. That alone will increase the demand at hubs like Quartzsite.

It’s hard to believe the Supercharger network was launched in 2012. A decade later, they are turning into a more common sight around the world. According to the company: Superchargers can add up to 200 miles (322 kilometres) of range in just 15 minutes.

In September, 420 Tesla projects were announced, including a 164-stall Supercharger hub on the I-5 corridor located in Coalinga, California. That will be the world’s largest Tesla Supercharger location. But that is nothing compared to reports of the largest EV charging location in the world, located in China’s hi-tech city of Shenzhen. There is an electric taxi charging station with a total of 637 fast chargers.

The largest EV charging location in the world with 637 stalls
The largest EV charging location in the world with 637 stalls
@DKurac/Twitter

Tesla's Full Self-Driving Beta is now available to everyone in the US and Canada

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla Full Self-Driving is available to anyone in North America
Tesla Full Self-Driving is available to anyone in North America
DirtyTesla/Twitter

The moment many Tesla owners have waited for has arrived: Full Self-Driving Beta is now available to anyone in North America who has requested it, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Musk took to his newly acquired social media platform Twitter to announce the news.

“Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta is now available to anyone in North America who requests it from the car screen, assuming you have bought this option,” writes Musk. “Congrats to [the] Tesla Autopilot/AI team on achieving a major milestone!”

This historic moment comes just days after Tesla began rolling out its latest version of FSD Beta, version 10.69.3.1, which is version 2022.36.20. It includes feature updates like a revamped Energy App, alternate routes, blind spot camera location, and more.

Now, this version is going wide to “anyone in North America who requests it.”

To receive FSD Beta you'll just need to request it in your vehicle under Controls > Autopilot. There is no longer a minimum safety score to achieve and everyone should receive the beta shortly after requesting it, as long as you've bought or subscribed to FSD Beta in the U.S. or Canada.

There are a few requirements for you to receive Tesla's FSD Beta. Your vehicle will need to have Tesla's FSD computer, known as hardware 3.0 or above. It also currently requires your vehicle to be on a 2022.36 update or below.

If your vehicle is on one of the 2022.40 updates, then you'll need to wait until the next beta update since the current beta (v10.69.3.1) is based on 2022.36 and Tesla doesn't normally allow vehicles to roll back to a previous version.

Some Model S and Model X vehicles may require a camera upgrade before being eligible for FSD Beta.

Tesla's next FSD Beta, v11, which is still being tested internally may also be released to some external testers starting today. A few days ago Musk confirmed on Twitter that version 11 would be widened “before Thanksgiving." FSD Beta v11 includes a unified tech stack for city and highway Autopilot use and is expected to go to a wide release sometime next month.

When it comes to FSD Beta updates, Tesla starts distributing to employees first for testing and going wider as they collect data and fix bugs. Then, based on a number of factors, Tesla broadens up distribution to more owners. However, this may soon change when FSD Beta gets incorporated into all Tesla software builds. This may happen with FSD Beta v11.

For owners new to FSD Beta, it's surely a day a lot of us have been waiting for and a monumental moment for Tesla. However, it doesn't stop there, it looks like we'll soon all have access to the next big update, FSD Beta v11.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Subscribe

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