Elon Musk Promises Tesla’s Robot Taxi Will ‘Look Pretty Futuristic’

AUSTIN, TX (AP) — Tesla will build a car designed to be used as a robotic taxi, and it will start making three new vehicles next year, CEO Elon Musk told fans at a plant-opening party in Texas.

Musk didn’t give details about the robotaxi, other than to say it would “look pretty futuristic.” He also said that Tesla will begin production of the Cybertruck pickup at its new plant near Austin, Texas next year. After that, he will start production of a new roadster and an electric semi-trailer, he said.

He made his announcement on Thursday evening at “Cyber ​​Rodeo at Giga Texas” An invitation-only party for thousands of guests at Tesla’s new $1 billion-plus factory.

Up to 15,000 people were expected to attend the private event to mark the opening of the new plant in Travis County, which also serves as the company’s new headquarters following its move from California.

Musk said at Thursday night’s event, which was streamed live on YouTube, that Tesla is delivering the first small Model Y SUVs built at the new plant, which he says can produce half a million SUVs a year.

Tesla and Musk often didn’t have time to start producing cars. In 2019, he promised a fleet of autonomous robot taxis would be on the roads next year, but the company’s Total Self-Driving software is still being tested by select Tesla owners on public roads.

The company is the largest manufacturer of electric vehicles in the US and the world.

Musk said that this year will be dedicated to the expansion of the Austin plant, as well as new in germany. He also said that the company could start building the robot in 2023. “There will be a massive wave of new products next year,” he told the crowd Thursday night.

The permit issued by the county stated that the event included interactive tours, food, alcohol, and live performances. But the event was closed to the general public and the media.

Musk said the Austin plant will employ up to 10,000 workers.