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8.17.19
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Experts: Tesla’s Plans to Launch a Robotaxi Network Are Nonsense

April 23rd 19__Kristin Houser__Filed Under: Advanced Transport
Tesla/Victor Tangermann

Elon Being Elon

During Monday’s “Autonomy Investor Day,” Elon Musk said he expects Tesla to have more than 1 million autonomous robotaxis on the road in 2020.

Wall Street’s response: Yeah, right.

“The Tesla Network robotaxi plans seemed half baked,” Cowen’s analyst Jeffrey Osborne wrote in a note to investors, according to a CNBC report, “with the company appearing to either not have answers to or not even considered pretty basic question[s] on the pricing, insurance liability, or regulatory and legal requirements.”

Wishful Thinking

Musk has been floating the idea of Tesla robotaxis for several years, arguing that the company’s cars could one day serve the same purpose as Ubers or Lyfts, but without the need for a driver — just summon a Tesla from an app, and it’ll drive itself to you.

The investors quoted in the CNBC piece don’t seem to take issue with this plan directly — just Musk’s recent assertions about its execution.

“Tesla’s autonomy investor presentations conveyed impressive technological leadership but, in our view, left big questions around time-to-market and did not change our views on the impediments to removing the human driver in a commercial service at scale,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas told investors, per CNBC.

He later added, “We still think removing the safety driver will take many years (if not decades) to achieve at high scale.”

READ MORE: Wall Street calls Tesla’s autonomous plan ‘half-baked,’ doubts it can beat Lyft, Nvidia and Google [CNBC]

More on Tesla: Tesla Will Demonstrate Full Self-Driving Capabilities This Month