Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Own Your Own Robotaxi

Apologies because this is admittedly entering "people on the internet are wrong" territory, but one of the fantasies peddled by Elon Musk about his "full self driving" vaporware is something called the "Tesla Network." To varying degrees he hints, suggests, and claims that any day now he's gonna send a software update and everyone with a relatively new Tesla is going to be able to both drive itself everywhere and make you lots of money operating as a taxi while you work or sleep or otherwise don't need the car. This is ridiculous, but Musk fans are true believers and a lot of them believe it.

Even leaving aside the technological fantasy (narrator: they will never work), don't people have any idea how much wear and tear taxis get? Every suitcase is likely to scuff the paint (as an aside, not sure how granny's get her suitcase in the trunk) or the seats. Minor scrapes and fender benders are inevitable, even if it isn't the fault of your robot taxi's brain. And cars just don't last all that long with that kind of driving without a team keeping them together with gum and twine. Which is fine for beaters, but Tesla owners have or think they have a luxury car, and repair costs absurdly high for them. And that's before we get to drunks puking in them, which is of course a thing.

I have read the internet, and it contains madness.