Tesla has claimed it will have a million self-driving taxis on the road in 2020. That figure seems a bit pie-in-the-sky to us, but CEO Elon Musk made the claim at an event for investors - the Tesla Autonomy Investor Day in Palo Alto, California.
And, even, if Tesla doesn't hit that mark it's still impressive that it will be able to roll out at least some robotaxis to take on Uber and Lyft. Some of the cars will be Tesla vehicles that are being loaned out by their drivers, from which Tesla will take a 30 percent cut.
Musk did caveat the claim by warning that the taxis won't be in huge numbers of countries because "we won’t have regulatory approval everywhere" and also adding that it's highly possible the two-year timeframe will be delayed - "sometimes I am not on time, but I get it done.”
Investors also weren't convinced as shares in the company dropped.
Musk also believes that Tesla will be making cars with no steering wheels or pedals within two years. Again, that seems a little premature to us given the position of the rest of the market, but he is right that it won't be too many years before there are at least a few vehicles without the traditional controls.
Musk says that all Tesla cars currently being produced have the ability to be autonomous through the Navigate feature of Autopilot, it would only take a software update to enable it. He added that more than a million Teslas will be able to drive autonomously when the update is applied in 2020.
Tesla reiterated the claim that it will launch a pickup this year and that the company will hit around 10,000 cars produced a week by the end of 2019.