Elon Musk is wrong about robotaxis. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi explains why
Both Elon Musk and Dara Khosrowshahi are talking about a similar future, but they are just not on the same page. At least with the timeline.Sutrishna Ghosh
The future of mobility is electric and shared. But there’s still some time before such a future comes to fruition. At least that’s what Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi believes, in contrast to the opinions of serial tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.
During the Tesla Autonomy Day back in April, Musk had captured attention by dropping a huge news bomb about his plans to have around a million robotaxis on the road by 2020 end.
Outlining his vision, the Tesla CEO had said that his EV’s autonomous system will be so far advanced by the time that drivers would be perfectly capable of driving the electric car without paying attention to the road.
“A year from now, we’ll have over a million cars with full self-driving, software... everything,” Musk had said.
As ambitious as it might sound, the robotaxi plan is not exactly outlandish. In fact, there is just one flaw in this vision, according to Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, and it is the timing. Khosrowshahi believes that there is still time before a driverless future actually becomes a day-to-day thing.
“If he can do it, more power to him,” Khosrowshahi said in an interview on the day Uber went public, commenting on Musk’s ambitious robotaxi vision.
“Our approach is a more conservative approach as far as sensor technology and mapping technology. The software’s going to get there. So I don’t think that his vision is by any means wrong. I just think we disagree on timing,” he continued, “I think it will be quite a few years beyond.”
Although not as positive as Musk on the 2020 plan for a driverless cab service, Khosrowshahi was pretty optimistic when it came to EVs and the future.
“It’s got to be electric,” he said. “We think that’s a no-brainer. It’s good for the environment. It’s where the world is going. And we are playing our part, for example, in London to move it electric.”
It looks like Musk and Khosrowshahi are talking about a similar future, but they are just not on the same page. At least with the timeline.