A picture of a Tesla robotaxi “concept” was revealed in the new Elon Musk biography today. It is interesting, but I would also take it with a grain of salt.
The Walter Isaacson biography of Elon Musk came out today.
In recent weeks the biographer, who has been embedded in Musk’s life for years, has been releasing excerpts with interesting information about Tesla, including some about Tesla’s new robotaxi program, which we now know will be “Cybertruck-like” and will be built in Texas before Mexico.
Now that the full book is out, a new picture with the capacity “a robotaxi concept” was released:
It shows a two-door, seemingly two-seater electric compact vehicle that could be referred to as “Cybertruck-like” with its sharp edge and potentially stainless steel finish.
Interestingly, another image of potentially the same vehicle was also shared in the book, and this one is captioned “Franz von Holzhausen with an early ‘Robotaxi.’”
It’s also in a section of the book that introduced Autopilot and Musk’s life between 2014-2016. Therefore, it could be a very early concept.
While interesting, I would take those pictures with a grain of salt for a few reasons. First of all, it’s not how Tesla unveils new vehicles.
However, to counter my own point here, it is possible that Tesla execs, like Franz, got pretty comfortable with Walter over the years since Elon was getting him full access, and these pictures could have slipped through Tesla’s cracks.
Secondly, it is the reference to an “early” concept and where it is in the book. These are potentially super early concepts that would have little to do with the production version.
In terms of more concrete information, the biographer describes a “November 2022” meeting in which they took a few decisions about the Robotaxi:
They decided that the Robotaxi would be a smaller, less expensive, less speedy car than the Model 3.
This kind of matches the concept, but it also shows that Tesla isn’t locked in on any robotaxi design just yet – or at least, it wasn’t until recently.