Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed that the company plans to compete with Uber and Lyft by using an autonomous ride-hailing fleet, which will be made up of what Musk described as robo-taxis.
Robo-taxis are basically any Tesla vehicle with autonomous-driving functionality. To turn a Tesla into a robo-taxi, a car owner simply adds it to the Tesla Network platform via the company’s app. Musk said that he expects to have “over 1 million robo-taxis on the road” by next year.
Riders will be able to book a ride with a robo-taxi via the same Tesla Network app. It will be a similar process to how Uber and Lyft work. The main difference is that these Tesla vehicles will not have a driver in the car. You will input the pickup location and the destination, and the robo-taxi will pick you up and drop you off.
The plan will definitely have issues with regulatory hurdles around the country. But if it becomes reality it will provide savings for riders and money making opportunities for Tesla owners.
Musk predicts that rides with the also predicted rides via Tesla’s robo-taxis will cost about $0.18 a mile. The average cost for a trip from a ride-hailing service today is about $2 to $3 per mile. For Tesla owners, a single robo-taxi could provide about $30,000 worth of profits per year and more than a couple hundred thousand dollars over the lifespan of the vehicle, he said.
Read more at Business Insider.