July 14, 2024
Turn Your Tesla Model 3 Into Cash: Elon Musk’s Robotaxi Roadmap

CEO Elon Musk wants you to know that you too will make money off of Tesla’s autonomy.

He made this clear earlier this month at the 2024 Annual Shareholder Meeting when he spelled out his autonomy plans and the future of Full Self Driving or FSD (which is currently available as version 12). While Musk admits to being overly optimistic, the plan is to make Robotaxi — or whatever Tesla eventually calls it — a viable money-making option for owners.

Monetizing the fleet: He expressed it broadly as “monetizing the fleet” through autonomy. “A combination of Airbnb and Uber to some degree,” he said. He explained that there will be cars that Tesla owns “but then for the fleet that is owned by our customers it will be like an Airbnb thing,” he said.

Add and subtract your car: Because the whole thing will be autonomous, it will be a matter of simply tapping out commands on your app. “You can add or subtract your car to the fleet whenever you want,” he said. “So you can say, like, I’m going away for a week [and] at just one tap on your Tesla app and your car gets added to the fleet and it just makes money for you while you’re gone.”

Goodbye to that pesky monthly payment? Probably the most compelling argument for the hoi polloi that actually own or lease a Tesla is help with the monthly payment. “So you can add it to the fleet for a few hours, for a few days, for a few weeks [and] whenever you want it back you can say ‘come back’ and the car will come right back. I’m highly confident that the revenue made by the owner of the car will far exceed the actual monthly payment,” he said adding that “Tesla will obviously take a rev share on that but most of the money will go to the owner of the car.”

FSD will be safer than human drivers: While taking into account that Musk is pitching autonomy like a master ad man, it’s clear that Tesla is fully intent on making Robotaxis a commercial reality. Speaking about autonomy and FSD he said: “With each release you’ll see there’s a big improvement and it looks like an exponential [curve] so and it’s very clear that that it will actually go to the point where it is actually far safer than a person driving the car.” He couldn’t resist adding: “Mark my words, this is simply a matter of time.”

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