The development of the robotaxi service offered by Tesla continues, and it will work everywhere… even on another Earth.
That’s according to Elon Musk, who told the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday that the system is not designed with a launch city in mind, the way competitors have approached the concept.
“Tesla is developing a general solution for self-driving,” Musk said. “If you created some sort of randomly generated alternate Earth, our system would still work.”
Musk added that regulatory hurdles will limit where it can be deployed, but he’s confident the comprehensive self-driving system will allow it to live up to its name one day.
Autonomous competitors Cruise and Waymo have focused their efforts on unique cities, where constant, hyper-accurate mapping of the environment is essential to the functionality of their systems.
Tesla collects data from owners of its cars running a beta version of the system, a process that has drawn the ire of many critics. More than 40 million miles have been traveled with the feature turned on, according to Musk, and he expects that to reach 100 million miles soon.
General Motors’ Super Cruise driver assistance, which has limited partial automation, also only works on stretches of roads that have been validated by scanning and inspection by the company itself. GM announced this week that it was doubling the approved road network to 400,000 miles across North America and said owners have traveled 35 million miles using Super Cruise since its launch in 2017.
When Tesla’s full self-driving is fully operational, Musk said Tesla owners will have the choice of using it themselves or adding their cars to the robotaxi fleet to earn cash when they don’t. don’t need it.
“I think it would end up being kind of a combination like Airbnb and Uber.”
“Look how many cars are parked. There are parking lots full of cars everywhere. Because cars need a driver, so most of the time they don’t do anything,” Musk said.
Musk estimated that a typical vehicle added to the system would see usage increase from 12 hours per week to 60 hours per week and become a revenue generator.
“What’s interesting is that the car still costs the same,” he said.