Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has announced on X that the company will unveil its highly anticipated robotaxi on August 8th. This autonomous vehicle is reportedly built on Tesla’s next-generation vehicle platform, marking a significant step forward in the company’s pursuit of self-driving technology.

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Coinciding with this announcement, Reuters reported on the same day that Tesla had abandoned plans to develop a more affordable electric vehicle priced around $25,000. Musk allegedly informed employees that the focus would now shift entirely towards an autonomous vehicle that aims to render other vehicles obsolete.

The concept of a Tesla robotaxi has been teased by Musk for years, with a covered vehicle displayed during a 2023 event where Tesla unveiled its third Master Plan. Musk had previously speculated that Tesla owners would be able to generate revenue by allowing their autonomous cars to pick up and drop off passengers, forming what he called the “Tesla Network.”

In Musk’s Master Plan Part Deux, he outlined how Tesla owners could add their cars to the shared fleet via the Tesla phone app, enabling them to earn income while not in use. These plans expanded further in 2019, with Musk expressing confidence that Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature would be so reliable that drivers could potentially sleep in their cars.

While Musk’s ambitious timelines for autonomous vehicles have not always aligned with reality, supporters point to the success of Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD features as evidence of the company’s pioneering role in the transition to AI-driven vehicles. However, critics raise concerns about inflated claims regarding the technology’s capabilities, citing numerous crashes and fatalities involving Tesla vehicles using FSD and Autopilot.

Despite these controversies, Tesla continues to forge ahead with its innovations, with the robotaxi event in August being the latest in a series of high-profile showcases. This event follows Tesla’s tradition of hosting significant unveilings, with last year featuring events for the Master Plan and the Cybertruck delivery. With the robotaxi unveiling, Tesla’s vision for the future of transportation takes another significant step forward.