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Ty_McMahan

Blogger
Jan 19, 2017
31
9
Brooklyn
Speaking at Tesla’s recent Autonomy Day, a showcase of the company’s self-driving technology, Chief Executive Elon Musk seemed to frame the company as a taxi tech enterprise. Musk has been thinking out loud since 2016 about the Tesla Network of autonomous electric vehicles available for service through a ride-hailing app. It’s in the Master Plan...
[WPURI="https://teslamotorsclub.com/blog/2019/05/07/will-tesla-be-different-when-the-fleet-wakes-up/"]READ FULL ARTICLE[/WPURI]
 
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Cloxxki

Active Member
Aug 20, 2016
1,362
706
Rotterdam
If your Tesla drives more milease as RoboTaxi, it will require more service.
The amount of service needed for cars will then increase significantly compared to the size of the fleet. We've not seen Tesla actually getting on top of service problems in any region where they hit, as far as I'm aware.
To deploy your car as a RoboTaxi at night when you need it in the morning every working day of the year, may prove to be a bad choice for owners. Tesla will profit either way, someone else will deploy a car to drive around. But will it actually work out for a large enough share of owners to grow to a signficant income generator?

Tesla in all their historical wisdom, expect to be on the road with RoboTaxi next year and seems to project a monopoly in the market for years to come. Should ANYONE achieve Level 5 though, it will be in their interest to make it work for ALL vehicles and remove themselves as production bottle neck. Say, Waymo gets to Level 5 and gets it approved for a significant region. Oh, there WILL be takers to create FSD kits for existing cars, as well as design new cars to ride he Waymo wave. Waymo operators would probably happily undercut RoboTaxi and this should be very easy. The hardware is not the worst expense and Waymo or its license taker could charge a much level percentage of ride fare.

The moment someone other than Tesla achieves approved Level 5, dozens of billions will flow in their direction. EVERYONE will be happy to develop tech to then be able to mass-produce it.
Tesla has a few hundred thousands of each Model S/3/X on the roads. There are SO MANY VW Golf/SEAT Iboza/Skoda Octavia kind of cars on the roads. Of some types there are millions. Well worth building a FSD retrofit for. And there will be many workshops happy to install it. It will be a huge business and all will be undercutting Tesla.
Why? Tesla makes premium long range vehicles. Long range is a nice to have (although not for Mother Nature), but not needed to deploy a FSD taxi at night. 200km of range is plenty to do urban taxi duty, especially if you only need to drive 10-15 miles to work in the morning. The car will charge to 160 km and hit the streets, back at 17.30 to pick you up from work. Having double or tripe the range is nice, but adds cost that is difficult or impossible to earn back. Especially if your car is a Tesla and it's being undercut by a VW that people will get into just as happily.
Would RoboTaxi get many rides at all once they turn out to not have a FSD monopoly?

In my opinion, Tesla should prepare to sell their FSD tech, try to be a leader there, not lean on their own fleet. If there's anything Tesla has proven to be terrible at, it's production. Quality AND quantity. In the BEV space they look great compared to half baked toes dipped into the waters. But when the big brands are ready and the Chinese join in...Tesla will be more of a Porsche than a Volkswagen Beetle.

Let's presume Tesla gets there first. It would be best for them and shareholders if they would sell hardware and software to others, to grow the Robotaxi fleet dozens of times quicker and be stronger against competition deploying cheaper cars. And they may be aiming for this or at least consider the option, as the name "Tesla" is not in the brand name.

I suppose a RoboTaxi company could split off and buy the IP rights from Tesla, good income for TSLA shareholders.
It will be much stronger in the fight against Waymo and the like as a separate company than part of Tesla Inc with all its drama and corporate nuttiness.
 

doghousePVD

My grandfather’s car
Dec 3, 2018
653
600
New England, USA
Retrofitting "SO MANY VW Golf/SEAT Iboza/Skoda Octavia kind of cars on the roads" is non-trivial.

I can't imagine how to add 8 cameras, ultrasonic sensors, radar, vehicle wiring plus the electronic brains economically.

Selling part of their "moat" to competitors definitely doesn't make business sense.
 
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drhuq90

New Member
May 10, 2019
1
1
Coppell, Texas
NO TESLA TAXI PLEASE
I am selling my Model S as soon as Tesla join the Texi Fleet. One of the reason I never bought a Lincoln or Cadilac was, (even though I think they are some of the best performing and most comfortable ICE car ever made), they were taken up by all the lemo/taxi companies and I did not want to be mistaken for a taxi driver. I don't think anyone who spend over 100k for a car need the extra 30k income from their own vehicle joining the taxi fleet. If they do, they shouldn't be driving a $100k vehicle. Besides that, who want to own a car that is just a public property for part of the day.

Tesla should have a completely separate division with a new name and new look of those fleet if they want to join the Taxi Business.
My opinion is, as soon as Tesla enter robotaxi business, it will loose a significant market share even compared to what they have now.
What a waste of a company potential. I always thought Tesla has the potential to become the NEXT GM of US auto industry. Elon should focus on Production, improving service and try to capture bigger share of the auto market before all the other ICE companies catch up to the technology.
 

Mackaypett

Member
Nov 25, 2017
12
2
Mexico
It seems to me that no economical ICE or BEV car could be successfully retrofitted for FSD. Tesla’s famous precision handling and responsiveness is not just for sports car enthusiasts, it’s a necessary component of FSD.
 

Timothyj999

Member
Nov 24, 2018
16
8
Maryland
NO TESLA TAXI PLEASE
Tesla should have a completely separate division with a new name and new look of those fleet if they want to join the Taxi Business.
My opinion is, as soon as Tesla enter robotaxi business, it will loose a significant market share even compared to what they have now.
What a waste of a company potential. I always thought Tesla has the potential to become the NEXT GM of US auto industry. Elon should focus on Production, improving service and try to capture bigger share of the auto market before all the other ICE companies catch up to the technology.

Agreed. A Tesla taxi should hearken back to the Checker Cab or Austin Fairway (the famous London Black Taxi)--cars that are dialed up to 11 regarding ease of entry, seating capacity, headroom & leg room, comfort, luggage space, and durability; and dialed way down on aerodynamics and performance. They could produce an iconic electric level 5 taxi that would blow away all those retrofitted VW Golfs and Skoda Octavias, and they wouldn't undercut the egos of the Tesla owners concerned about their cars being mistaken for a taxi (like the Lincolns mentioned above). There's a huge opportunity here, and Tesla is perfectly positioned.
 

Dave EV

Active Member
Jun 23, 2009
1,886
1,543
San Diego
Tesla has a few hundred thousands of each Model S/3/X on the roads.
Keep in mind that a typical private vehicle is only driving about 5-10% of the time (probably 1-2 hours a day). Even if you can only get it driving 10 hours a day, that's like having 5-10x as many vehicles "on the road".
 

wcorey

Active Member
Jul 11, 2018
1,657
789
Killingly, CT
If your Tesla drives more milease as RoboTaxi, it will require more service.
The amount of service needed for cars will then increase significantly compared to the size of the fleet. We've not seen Tesla actually getting on top of service problems in any region where they hit, as far as I'm aware.
There is a lot in the original post to unpack. I had a bunch of thoughts when I first read it but then I thought I'd take smaller bites. Well, yeah, more service but remember, it's not a stand internal combustion car with oil pan, spark plugs etc. The motors are good for what 500,000 miles, 1,000,000 miles? While there is more service required I suspect it is more relative to almost none.
What I fear is the biggest threat is vandalism. Even with the internal facing camera, someone in the back seat could easily damage to upholstery, either maliciously or otherwise. Clearly more wear and tear just through the normal course of usage. This is why I've pretty much abandoned my initial thought of placing my car in service. It would make taxes, while not impossible, more difficult. I'm now thinking of a second entry level Model 3 for the sole purpose of robotaxi making depreciation far more straight forward as well as maintenance claims. On that note. I suspect a lot of body shops could do that work. In my normal driving I've spotted several shops that advertise Tesla approved. Now, whether they are or not remains to be seen but I'd deal with wear and tear and occasional vandalism far better if it is on a business income piece of property as opposed to personal transportation.
 

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