Elon Musk says Tesla will reveal its robotaxi on Aug. 8


Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Friday afternoon in a post on X that Tesla will unveil its highly anticipated robotaxi later this summer—delivering an after-hours boost to the company’s beleaguered stock.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the arrival of Tesla’s robotaxi just hours after accusing Reuters of “lying” for reporting Tesla was moving resources from a lower-priced EV to robotaxis. VISUAL CHINA GROUP VIA GETTY IMAGES
Key facts
  • Musk offered no information beyond the date of the reveal in the announcement on X, formerly known as Twitter, where he posted: “Tesla Robotaxi unveil on 8/8.”
  • Musk has for years said Tesla will have a robotaxi offering—though he has falsely hinted at its arrival a number of times.
  • Musk’s announcement came just hours after he accused Reuters of “lying” in an article that said Tesla was stopping development of its more affordable electric vehicle and moving resources to work on the robotaxi—though he did not provide further details.
Will the car actually be revealed this August?

Only time will tell. Elon Musk has been giving unfulfilled timelines for when self-driving cars would arrive since 2016, when he said a Tesla would drive itself cross-country by the end of 2017, Business Insider reported.

Then, in 2019, he said that by the middle of 2020, Tesla’s autonomous system will be so good that drivers won’t need to pay attention to the road, The Verge reported. In 2020, the Tesla CEO said the company was “very close” to achieving level 5 autonomous driving technology.

As recently as last year, Musk said Tesla was “very close to achieving full self-driving without human supervision” and that the company would realize fully autonomous vehicles at some point “later this year”—though the robotaxis didn’t arrive in 2023.

Big number

More than 4.8%. That’s how much Tesla stock had risen two hours after the market closed Friday following Musk’s announcement, providing a needed boost after it ended the day down 3.6%.

Key background

Tesla has had a rough start to 2024—it has been the worst-performing major stock this year, down more than 30% year-to-date.

Between lower demand for electric vehicles generally and increasing competition from China, the auto company showed a 40% year-over-year decline in quarterly profits and a below-expected revenue growth of just 3% in its January earnings report.

Tesla will face competition in the robotaxi market.

General Motors developed Cruise, which offered a self-driving rideshare service in California last year, though it was halted in October after a car dragged a person who was struck by a human-driven car 20 feet, leading California regulators to revoke the company’s permit.

Another self-driving rideshare service, Waymo—which is owned by Google parent company Alphabet—operates in Phoenix, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and recently announced a partnership with Uber Eats in which people in Phoenix are able to order food delivery with a Waymo car.

Forbes valuation

Forbes estimates Elon Musk to be worth about $189.2 billion as of Friday evening just before 6 p.m., making him the third-wealthiest person in the world.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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