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The Upcoming “Robotaxi Day” Could Make Or Break Tesla

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses the upcoming "Robotaxi Day" event hosted by Elon Musk and Tesla, where the company is expected to unveil its plans for self-driving car technology. The article analyzes the potential upsides and downsides of Tesla's focus on self-driving capabilities, including the challenges with their "vision-only" approach and the exponential costs of training a highly accurate self-driving AI.

🙋 Q&A

[01] Potential Upsides of Tesla's Robotaxi Plans

1. What are the potential upsides if Tesla's Robotaxi plans are successful?

  • If Tesla's announced plans on "Robotaxi Day" solve their self-driving Achilles heel, it could allow them to develop road-legal fully autonomous cars and robotaxis years before anyone else
  • This could massively increase Tesla's sales and add a huge amount to their revenue through Tesla-owned robotaxis
  • Musk's bet on self-driving could pay off, and the impaired development of other parts of the company could be worth it

[02] Potential Downsides of Tesla's Robotaxi Plans

1. What are the potential downsides if Tesla continues with a "vision-only" approach for self-driving?

  • Tesla's decision to go "vision-only" for their self-driving system (FSD) has made it inherently and deeply flawed, as it lacks the redundancy and higher-quality data provided by a full suite of sensors used by other self-driving car companies
  • This has led to numerous fatal crashes caused by Tesla's FSD, sparking investigations by the DoJ into potential securities fraud and other charges

2. What are the challenges with training a highly accurate self-driving AI?

  • As AI models become more accurate, the energy and data requirements increase exponentially, with estimates suggesting it could cost hundreds of billions of dollars to train a 99% accurate self-driving AI
  • Even with such massive investments, issues like "AI hallucinations" may not be fully resolved, as larger datasets cannot completely tackle this problem

3. What would indicate whether Tesla's Robotaxi plans are viable?

  • If Tesla announces that the Robotaxi will use additional sensors like Lidar, it suggests they can build a legal, safe, and functional robotaxi
  • However, if Musk announces the Robotaxi will continue to only use cameras, it's likely the vehicle will be an unsafe dud
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