Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly plans to launch its own Uber-like riding sharing service, details of which are to be announced next year. News of the plan was outlined in a disclaimer where Elon Musk revealed that Tesla is building new autonomous vehicles, which will apparently be 10 times safer compared to a human driver.
“Please note that Self-Driving functionality is dependent upon extensive software validation and regulatory approval, which may vary widely by jurisdiction. It is not possible to know exactly when each element of the functionality described above will be available, as this is highly dependent on local regulatory approval. Please note also that using a self-driving Tesla for car sharing and ride hailing for friends and family is fine, but doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year,” reads the disclaimer.
Moreover, Elon Musk further detailed Tesla’s plan for its ride sharing network in Master Plan, Part Deux:
You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost. This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla. Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not.
According to Musk’s vision, when Tesla owners are not using their vehicles, they’ll have the option to tap a button to essentially use it as a taxi to get some extra bucks. This is Tesla’s vision of its self-driving taxi service, which is slightly different from that of Uber. While Uber doesn’t want you own a car at all, as they’re banking that commuters will solely rely on a car arriving within a few minutes wherever they want to go. Tesla’s approach is a bit different, as it still envisions vehicle ownership as the primary mode of transportation, though with the option to use it as a taxi to generate some extra income.