USA — Tesla has been notorious for pushing the limits of automotive technology. First, are electric vehicles. And now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to have a fleet of self-driving robotaxi on the street next year. Several news outlets report this is all part of an audacious plan to compete against ride-hailing apps such as Uber.
“Probably two years from now we’ll make a car with no steering wheels or pedals,” Elon Musk predicts.
At first glance, it seems like this might finally be the industry’s key to solve the market issues against ride-sharing applications. Unfortunately, this might not be the case.
Adding these “robotaxis” on the market will only generate more choices for the consumers. Thus, making the market competition worse for the taxi industry.
Not to mention the number of taxi drivers that will be put out of job for these self-driving vehicles. Is it really worth risking our community’s employment, safety, and comfort just for these futuristic cars?
This vision of Tesla might be too surreal to even worry about – with the technology, budget, and time that they have – but they’re mad serious about it.
On Tesla Autonomy Day, Elon Musk announces that a new microchip for self-driving cars has been installed in every Tesla vehicle.
In addition to that, several zealous investors are willing to bet their money on this project. In fact, the company’s shares slightly increased following the announcement of these “robotaxis”.
But several experts and technicians claim Musk is risking public safety just to boost Tesla’s sales.
“It sounds like a pipe dream that he’s selling people,” said Raj Rajkumar, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University. “I think it’s basically overpromising, which is typical of Elon Musk.”
Indeed, Musk will have to convince us to believe that these cars are safer and more accurate than humans. After Tesla’s exploding incident in China, it’s a little hard to not be a skeptic.
Until Musk can prove it otherwise, it’s still better to ride a taxi with a fellow human. It’s safer, much more comfortable, and much more human.