Tesla ride-sharing service will cover drivers with its own insurance program
CEO Elon Musk reiterated plans for what he calls the "Tesla Network" during the automaker's fourth-quarter earnings call.
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Electrek first reported on Tuesday that plans for a Tesla ride-sharing service are well underway, and the new service will cover drivers under the firm's own insurance program. Tesla didn't immediately respond to a request for more information on this news, however.
According to the report, an app will roll out, giving you the ability to hail a Tesla vehicle with a human driver behind the wheel -- a different approach than CEO
goal of rolling out said service with totally self-driving vehicles. However, Musk did seem open to launching such a service before totally autonomous cars are ready. The firm remains bullish on self-driving vehicle technology and believes it will achieve autonomy without lidar technology.
During Tesla's fourth-quarter earnings call, Musk again reiterated support for human drivers for the "Tesla Network." The CEO said "it's probably something that we would enable before a sort of robotaxi fleet is enabled."
As for the insurance aspect, that remains a tad murky. Right now, Tesla's own insurance program, which boasts about rates 30% cheaper than competitors, is only available in California, which could signal the ride-sharing service will first open shop in the state. The company's chief financial officer, Zach Kirkhorn, reiterated Tesla is working on expanding the service outside of California and noted the intense regulatory process to get the program off the ground.
This program may also offer deeper discounts for using Autopilot, something Musk alluded to in the call as well.
Until the company is ready to share more, we don't know when the Tesla Network will be ready for liftoff, or when the insurance operation will expand. However, if Tesla's proven anything in the past few years, the company knows how to get things done when it comes to crunch time.
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