Elon Musk initially mentioned Tesla’s Robotaxi concept in his Master Plan Part Deux, published in 2016. At the time, Musk suggested that the company’s Robotaxis would be regular Teslas that happen to have full self-driving capabilities.
During Autonomy Day in 2019, Musk allocated a good part of the event to Tesla’s Robotaxi concept. In 2019, Robotaxis were widely expected to be consumer Tesla vehicles, with owners deploying their own cars — like the Model 3 — for ride-sharing services.
However, Musk’s comments during Tesla Giga Texas Cyber Rodeo suggest that Tesla is now exploring a dedicated vehicle for its Robotaxi service. Instead of using cars already on the market — like the Model Y — for the Robotaxi felt, Musk hinted that Tesla is thinking of using a newly designed vehicle.
“What I can say is we’re gonna move to truly massive scale — scale that no company has ever achieved in the history of humanity. That has to happen to transition the world to sustainable energy. Massive scale, Full Self-Driving, there’s gonna be a dedicated Robotaxi that’s gonna look quite futuristic,” Musk said.
Musk only mentioned Tesla’s dedicated Robotaxi in passing during his Cyber Rodeo address, though he did mention that the vehicle would look quite futuristic. The last time Musk was teasing a vehicle with a futuristic design, Tesla came up with the Cybertruck. It would then be interesting to see if Tesla develops another radically-designed but cost-effective vehicle for its Robotaxi fleet.
Despite Musk’s comments, Tesla owners will probably still be able to include their own vehicles to the Robotaxi fleet. After all, Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite is designed for the existing fleet of vehicles.