Tesla’s FSD Announcement Points To Future Robotaxis Cities
There have been new job ads that were recently put onto Tesla's website. Tesla has been looking to hire a lot of workers lately for many positions. Tesla has been in need of workers for their new Gigafactories which are in Austin, TX and Brandenburg, Germany respectively. Now there are workers needed for something else. Several job listings which are titled ADAS operator have been posted by Tesla. All of these listings are posted on Tesla’s website with detailed descriptions.
The role these testers will play
These job ads are all in major cities such as Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, and many others. These job descriptions merely say that these workers will be testing autonomous vehicle software. The job ad mentions testing vehicles on proving grounds. These testers will be helping familiarize a test vehicle with a local region. This will enable Tesla to reduce the number of mistakes its FSD software makes.
Where FSD is at now
Tesla’s FSD software has improved a lot over the years. The software is still not without its issues, and there will always be small issues. The objective is to continue to improve that software. It would actually be easier for Tesla’s FSD software to navigate a major city if the right infrastructure was in place for Robotaxis. This could include designated lanes and a vehicle to grid communication system.
How Tesla could make Robotaxis a reality
The first thing that needs to be done is a lot more testing. Tesla needs to make their FSD software as close to perfect as they possibly can. This means that the car should be able to make any maneuver that a particular city street requires. The car has to know things such as how tight it can make its turns. This will help greatly reduce the possibility of a Tesla running over a biker riding in the bike lane. The FSD software also needs to know how to handle picking up and dropping off passengers. If there are no parking spaces on the side of the road, the car needs to know whether it should double park, loop around the block, or go to where there is a parking space.
Building infrastructure for FSD taxis in a major city
Whether a city is going to get Robotaxis or not, it would be a good idea for Tesla to start mapping major cities. Tesla would have to figure out the limits of where the cars could travel. A city taxi service usually doesn't have its cars go too far outside the city. Tesla would also have to build superchargers throughout the city or should start building supercharger stations. The most important thing Tesla needs to do is figure out which cars it’s going to use. They will have to figure out whether they will make Tesla models into Robotaxis or build a new car from scratch.
Rules and Regulations
Cities and states are going to end up coming up with regulations if Tesla Robotaxis become a reality. Tesla has already received a lot of scrutiny from government agencies due to various accidents where Tesla’s self-driving software may or may not have been a factor.
Some rules are needed though. For example, there is always the possibility of a pedestrian trying to challenge the car’s software by running out in front of it.
There is a possibility Tesla is just testing their software for future updates, but it seems unlikely that the company isn’t pushing towards Robotaxis. Musk praised Robotaxis just last week. Musk said, “Full self-driving can be used in Robotaxis… the utility increases from an average of 12 hours per week to an average of 60 hours per week…so that’s roughly like a 5x increase in utility.”
The Robotaxi phenomenon is something to keep an eye on. There will likely be more updates on this topic in the future, especially if Tesla starts making plans to put active Robotaxi fleets that are open to the public into these cities.
Image: Cruise Automation
Daniel Cappo reports Tesla developments at Torque News. He has had a passion for cars ever since age five when his grandparents let him drive their old golf cart around their property in Upstate NY. He has attended numerous auto shows, and even got the chance to drive a Ferrari California on the track. Ever since Tesla opened up a dealership at his local mall, he's been an avid follower of their cars and technology. Dan has a B.S. in Public Communication from U Vermont. Follow Daniel on Twitter and LinkedIn for daily Tesla News.