Will Tesla Motors Introduce A Massive Autonomous Car Sharing Program?
When Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stated that his company would buy 500,000 Teslas if they were autonomous, most of the public focused on how many cars Tesla could sell to Uber.
It’s obvious that sales of 500,000 Model III to a company like Uber is completely out of the question if you can develop you own system of any kind (taxi or car sharing or a combination of both) and expand the business to a much higher level.
Signs of this are coming almost daily as there are more and more autonomous features implemented in Autopilot and the recently presented prototype of a robotic charger.
If you take a look at Apple, who also is working on electric and autonomous cars, the name of the project Titan isn’t accidental, because stake of the future is autonomous cars, workhorses that drive 24/7.
It’s possible that Tesla will try to introduce an autonomous taxi or car sharing (name it as you want) by end of this decade, with Apple being the main competitor.
Thing is hanging in the air and Elon Musk refused even to talk about this, avoiding the most important question:
“Yet another way Tesla could extend its reach was suggested in Musk’s response to an analyst who asked about Travis Kalanick, head of the Uber ride-hailing business, who had been quoted as saying that if Tesla’s cars achieved autonomy by 2020, Kalanick would want to buy all of them. The question was whether Musk might prefer instead to set up a ride-sharing business of his own.
“That’s an insightful question,” Musk said, and then went silent for a good while. “I don’t think I should answer it.”
For a company manufacturing electric cars and holding software for autonomous driving, adding taxi features seems easy. You will just call the car, and Tesla will send you whichever model you need and then take you to the destination and on its own connect to charging.
How big a market it could be? Well, it could be colossus, like a nationwide car sharing scheme.