Tesla lists Robo-taxi as now being in development

17 days since announcement
Future Feature
By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla lists the Robo-Taxi as being in development
Tesla lists the Robo-Taxi as being in development
KBB

Tesla's Q2 earnings presentation listed products in production and development, and interesting enough, Robo-Taxi appears on the last line as being 'in development.'

Elon Musk publicly discussed the idea of a fully autonomous vehicle at the Giga Texas opening in April. Two weeks later, he briefly talked about Robo-Taxi in his 2022 first-quarter earnings call .

The product was not mentioned during this quarter's earnings call, but Robo-Taxi could not be missed in the report to investors.

In April, Elon Musk said, “But it’s fundamentally optimized to achieve the lowest fully considered cost per mile or cost per kilometer, accounting for everything. And so it’s, I think, going to be a very powerful product.” Musk says his vision of Robo-Taxi is a fully autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel or pedals, and he thinks it could be coming soon. “Where we aspire to reach volume production of that in 2024. So, I think that really will be a massive driver of Tesla’s growth.”

Tesla lists the Robo-Taxi as being in development
Tesla lists the Robo-Taxi as being in development
Tesla

Of course, for Robo-Taxi to succeed, Full Self Driving (FSD) will have to be completely functional, which is closer to reality, according to the CEO. “We have now deployed our FSD beta with city streets driving capability to over 100,000 owners.

They are very happy with the capability of the system, and we will continue to improve it every week.” Musk says Tesla has now driven more than 35 million miles with the beta FSD. He believes that is more miles than all other vehicle manufacturers combined, “so, that mileage is growing exponentially.” said Musk.

The in-development project explains recent comments Musk made to the Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley interview (interview below).

Elon said FSD is the difference between the company being worth a lot or not very much. “Autonomy is a monumental breakthrough,” said Musk.

He also spoke candidly about FSD, “the sheer amount of work required to do this boggles the mind.” Musk admitted FSD is a bigger challenge than he originally predicted, “I’ve seen a lot of tough technology problems and solving real-world AI such that a car can drive itself is one of the hardest problems I’ve ever seen. It is way harder than I originally thought, by far.”

Even admitting how complex and challenging FSD is, Musk is still confident that it will be fully operational this year. If that happens, Robo-Taxis will be hailed soon as well.

Tesla's Model 3 Turns 5 Years-Old

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla's Model 3 HVAC UI in 2017
Tesla's Model 3 HVAC UI in 2017

Happy Birthday to Tesla’s Model 3. It’s hard to believe that five years ago, just 30 Model 3’s had rolled off the assembly line and been delivered. Now Tesla’s answer to a more affordable vehicle is the best-selling electric vehicle in the world, has been named car of the year, is considered one of the safest vehicles on the planet and has a long waiting list of eager buyers.

It’s a birthday, so we should reminisce about the early days. While this iconic car first appeared on the road in 2017, it was on Elon Musk’s to-do list for over a decade.

Elon Musk talks to Wired Science about the Model 3 in 2006

Years later, as it became more of a reality, the car was given the code name BlueStar. It was to be named the Model E, but Ford had already trademarked the wording. Then Musk turned the E into a 3, but he didn’t want the number; he envisioned 3 lines, similar to the current E in Tesla. But Adidas quashed that, arguing it was too close to that brand’s three stripes. So that’s how the 3 was named.

The Model 3 was supposed to be the smaller, stripped-down version of the Model S to invite more buyers into Tesla and EVs. However, this more affordable, entry-level Tesla holds its own against luxury sedans and even its big sister, the Model S. Tesla has been rolling out several updates throughout the Model 3’s existence, allowing the vehicles to keep up and even pass the Joneses.

In 2019 the Model 3 received a significant software boost when the beta versions of Navigate on Autopilot and Smart Summon were added. Voice commands, a voice keyboard and new language supports were also implemented along with the popular Camp Mode. Once owners posted photos and videos of comfortable beds in the Model 3 with the backseat down, Tesla had to add climate control and a camp fire to complete the experience.

Tesla introduced Dog Mode in Teslas in 2019. In fact, the manufacturer used a Model 3 to unveil the feature to the world. With the help of a sleepy Husky and an excited German Shepherd, Dog Mode was demonstrated to the world on all of Tesla’s social media channels. This made Tesla a must-have for any dog lover!

Also included with the Model 3 in late 2019 and early 2020 was Sentry Mode. This all-encompassing security system records and notifies the owner if anything is happening around or to the Tesla. It’s arguably the most advanced stock vehicle alarm system on the market.

In 2020 the Tesla Toybox was overhauled and updated in all Model 3s. Emissions, sketchpad and many more favorites were revised and made even more fun. But it wasn’t just the games that have been updated; although plenty of games were added over time, Tesla improved it’s maps and dashcam. Later in the year, the Beta version of Full Self Driving was added to all Teslas, including the Model 3. While FSD is still a work in progress, for the system to be available in even the entry-level Model 3 was a big attraction.

A crowd pleaser is the Boombox. This was another addition in 2020 to all models. With the car in park, the boombox blasts music or sound effects through an external speaker. You can even add your own sounds through a USB drive. Perhaps the Boombox should be used by all Model 3 owners to wish their Tesla a happy 5th Birthday!

Elon Musk says Canada could be home to the next Tesla Gigafactory

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla's Fremont Gigafactory
Tesla's Fremont Gigafactory
Tesla

Elon Musk mentioned that Tesla could announce a new factory location later this year at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting. 

During his speech at the shareholder meeting, Elon talked in detail about Tesla's newly opened factories: Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg and Gigafactory Texas. 

During the meeting Elon said that Tesla "might be able to announce another factory location later this year." When Elon asked where the next Gigafactory should be, the crowd shouted out various locations. Elon then said:

"We get a lot of Canada. I am half Canadian, maybe I should?"

This is not the first time Elon hinted that Canada could be home to the next gigafactory.

During an employee meeting in June, Elon confirmed that the company was looking at a new site in North America. During the Q and A, an employee asked a question about the location of the next American Gigafactory.

Musk noted that the company had not confirmed the location, but he said it may not necessarily be in the United States:

"We are looking at sites, but we are considering some site options more broadly in North America, so including Canada and Mexico, and the US as well."

Scaling Production

At the shareholder meeting, Elon told investors that Tesla's next Gigafactory will be one of 10-12 factories the company is planning.

"Ultimately, we'll end up building probably at least 10 or 12 Gigafactories and they will be really big Gigafactories aiming for an average output of 1.5 to 2 million units per factory, which is enormous."

If Canada is home to the next Gigafactory, it would most likely be located somewhere in Ontario's "Golden Horseshoe", Canada's most populated and economically productive region. Alberta could also be a good option considering it has favorable business regulations, cheaper energy costs, including Canada's best solar and wind potential, and its proximity to lithium resources.

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