Earlier this year during the Cyber Rodeo at Giga Texas Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the company is working on a new “dedicated robotaxi” platform.
Soon after Musk gave more details on the robotaxi platform, saying during the Q1 2022 earnings call that they were hoping to bring it to volume production in 2024.
This week Tesla’s Vice President of Investor Relations Martin Viecha reiterated that timeline, also indicating it would launch before a cheaper, more affordable Tesla model would be released.
Viecha’s comments were initially misreported by Business Insider, which quoted an attendee of a Goldman Sachs conference in San Francisco on Monday that Viecha said a cheaper Tesla model would come before the robotaxi launch.
Following the report, the Tesla exec took to Twitter to clarify that he said no such thing, at the same time reiterating the 2024 timeline for the robotaxi platform.
Never said anything about “prior to” 2024 robotaxi platform rollout.
— Martin Viecha (@MartinViecha) September 13, 2022
Part of the reason there will be no cheaper Tesla model in the near future is because of the extremely high demand for the Model 3 and Model Y, which Viecha said “reduces the need for a new model any time soon.”
We don’t know much of anything about this new robotaxi platform. The only details Musk has provided so far is that it will be “quite futuristic looking” and that it will have no steering wheel or pedals.
The 2024 timeline is of course dependent on Tesla achieving at least Level 4 autonomy with their Full Self-Driving package. Viecha also reiterated the company is still targeting a wide release of FSD Beta to all owners who have purchased the package before the end of the year. But even at that level it is still only a Level 2 driver-assist system.
During his talk on Monday Viecha also revealed Tesla’s cost to produce a vehicle has dropped nearly 60% since 2017. He also revealed that for the first time in many years Tesla has all the battery cells they need for both their automotive and energy businesses.