Tesla has imbued its cars with the hardware necessary to become fully self-driving. Now, it wants to make it so Tesla owners can loan out their car to become a part of a near-future fleet of robo taxis that the company calls, the Tesla Network. CEO Elon Musk said on Monday it will be at least partially operational by 2020.
During an investor day dedicated to Tesla’s self-driving efforts, Musk laid out his plans to turn Tesla cars into a hybrid, ride-sharing network. He hopes to leverage this to let Tesla cars earn money for their owners by driving other people around when they would otherwise be parked.
Musk hopes to have over one million robo taxis on the road by 2020. A massive fleet of autonomous cars that he envisions driving city-goers from Point A to Point B, while their owners sleep.
“I feel very confident in predicting autonomous robots taxis for Tesla next year,” said Musk. “Not in all jurisdiction because we don’t have regulatory approval every where. But I’m confident we’ll have regulatory approval anywhere somewhere next year. From our standpoint, if you fast-forward a year, maybe a year and three months…we’ll have over a million robo taxis on the road.”
In a year’s time, Tesla drivers could be working to backup for the cost owners paid for them. Here’s everything you need to know about the Tesla Network.
Tesla Network: How Will It Work
All Tesla customers will be able to join the Tesla Network regardless if they own or are leasing a vehicle. By using the currently available Tesla app, drivers will be able to add their car to the network whenever they’d like. The optimal time for this would be when they’re sleeping, working, or don’t need to go anywhere.
So any customer will be able to add or remove their car to the Tesla network,” explained Musk. “Expect this to operate like a combination of the Uber or Airbnb model.”
Tesla will take “25 or 30 percent” of the revenue generated from each ride, which is roughly the amount Uber takes out of each ride fare. But that doesn’t mean participants won’t be able to make a decent amount of cash while they’re sleeping.
Tesla Network: How Much Money Could It Make You?
Tesla estimates that customers can make about 0.65 cents per mile. The company calculated that if a single robo taxi driver 90,000 miles in one year it could make about $30,000. That would be most of the money back from the purchase of a $35,000 Model 3.