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 beter 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.

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Tesla Model Y, the best selling EV in Q1, wins U.S. News 'Best Luxury Electric SUV'

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla Model Y wins U.S. News Best Luxury SUV
Tesla Model Y wins U.S. News Best Luxury SUV
Kelley Blue Book

Tesla's Model Y has won U.S. News 'Best Luxury Electric SUV' award. U.S. News writes "Despite the onslaught of new competitors, the Tesla Model Y is one of the most capable and well-rounded luxury electric SUVs that you can buy at the moment," U.S. News added, “If you’re in the market, this is an option that’s well-worth a test drive.”

The Model Y was first delivered to owners in early 2020 and was the automaker’s second mass-market vehicle after the Model 3. The Model Y effectively expanded Tesla’s product line to include a new body style. Tesla’s Model Y has rapidly become the company's best-selling vehicle, despite being more expensive than the Model 3. This speaks to the prominence of the Model Y, dominating the widely-popular crossover SUV sector. 

Tesla's Model Y starts at $62,990, making it much more appealing to mass markets than the Model X which starts at $114,990. Tesla's Model X has been offered for seven years, but is still only produced for sentimental reasons, according to CEO Elon Musk.

U.S. News highlights that, while the Model Y offers less cargo and utility room than the Model X, it still includes many of the same tech features and comparable performance. A fully enhanced Model Y has a 0 to 60 MPH of just 3.5 seconds while still having over 300 miles of range and a 155 MPH top speed.

It's no surprise that the Model Y was the recipient of the U.S. News ‘Best Luxury Electric SUV’ award as it topped the list of best-selling EVs in the US in Q1 2022. In Q1 2022, U.S. EV sales were up 60% year-over-year, demonstrating the continued shift away from internal combustion engine vehicles.

Tesla had the top 3 best selling EVs

Tesla took first, second and third place with an impressive 52,051 registered units for the Model Y, and 47,682 registered units of the Model 3. These two models alone make up the bulk of the entire U.S. EV market. Tesla also achieved third place with 9,250 registrations of the Model S and seventh place is the Tesla Model X with 4,899 registrations. Tesla remains the leader in EV sales, consistently selling a number of vehicles unattainable to competitors.

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How to add more 'Quick Control' icons in the Tesla app

By Rene Pepin
You can add a fifth Quick Control icon to the Tesla app
You can add a fifth Quick Control icon to the Tesla app

Tesla completely redesigned their app with version 4.0 last year. Since then Tesla has been quickly iterating on its features with updates and new features coming every few weeks.

With version 4.3 of the Tesla app, Tesla added the ability to customize the Quick Control buttons on the main screen.

You can add up to four buttons, but with this little trick, you can also add a fifth icon.

Add a Fifth Icon to the Tesla App

To add a fifth icon start by long-pressing the row of icons to bring up an editing screen to sort or replace those icons with the ones you use most frequently.

Now here is where the fun starts because it will take a little manual dexterity to add the additional icon but when you do it correctly your sense of accomplishment will out weight your initial frustration.

Here is the trick:

With your right thumb, pick up one of the available icons and drag it over the fourth icon (in the screen above it is the Front Trunk icon), but do not release it.

While keeping your right thumb held down, use your thumb on your left hand to press on the 1st icon (in the screen above it is the HVAC icon), and drag it to the second icon (the Defrost icon). The icon you have brought up will move offscreen to the right into the invisible fifth spot.

Release both fingers simultaneously and VIOLA a fifth icon will magically appear.

Have fun mixing and matching your icons as your needs change. You can update the icon bar as often as needed.

Video

Tesla used to allow users to continue to add an unlimited amount of icons, but it wasn't a great experience so the total number of icons is now limited to five.

Additional Tips

There are several other useful bits of information about the Tesla app that could make it more useful.

For example, you can tap the battery icon at the top of the screen to access charging information. This brings up the same information as tapping on the Charge Quick Control icon.

If you prefer tapping the battery icon, you can remove the Charge icon from the Quick Controls area, allowing you to free up a spot, essentially giving you an extra Quick Control slot.

Wake Up Your Vehicle Quicker

When using the app most commands are executed through the vehicle's internet connection, which requires your vehicle to be awake.

Waiting for your vehicle to wake up could sometimes take up to a minute, but there is a way to speed it up if you're within Bluetooth distance (around 30 feet).

Some commands are sent via Bluetooth, which allows them to be completed even if the vehicle is asleep. This includes locking and unlocking the doors.

When completing one of these commands, your Tesla starts to turn on almost immediately.

If you're waiting for your vehicle to turn on, you can send a command to lock/unlock your vehicle and your vehicle should wake up quicker than just waiting.

Widget

If you've added a fifth icon to your Quick Controls and use the Tesla app widget, then the widget will now display all five icons as well.

No Need to Wait

With the introduction of the Tesla app version 4.0 last year, Tesla quietly rolled out a feature that changes the way you use the app.

Previously, you needed to open the Tesla app, wait for your vehicle to wake up, and then you could send a command to the car, such as using turning on the climate system or using HomeLink.

However, now you can simply open the app, tap your desired function (it'll show a spinning circle) and you can quit the app.

Instead of the command going directly to your car, it will now be sent to Tesla. Tesla's servers will be the ones who wait for your vehicle to wake up, and when it does, Tesla will execute the command.

If for some reason Tesla isn't able to wake up your vehicle due to a poor connection or another error, then you'll receive a notification saying the command failed.

This makes turning on the HVAC system a much more enjoyable experience.

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Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.

Confirmed by Elon

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

Days Until Next Release

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Estimated days until version 2022.20 is released.

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

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.

Confirmed by Elon

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

Days Until Next Release

34

Estimated days until version 2022.20 is released.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Subscribe

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.