Elon Musk has announced plans to unveil a Tesla robotaxi on August 8

Calvin D

In a dramatic turnaround mere hours after dismissing reports by Reuters as false, Elon Musk, the visionary CEO behind Tesla, took to X to announce a forthcoming event on August 8. This event is set to unveil the much-anticipated Tesla Robotaxi. The pivot to focusing on the robotaxi comes at a time when Tesla is grappling with declining sales and profits, suggesting a strategic shift aimed at rejuvenating the company's market performance and potentially its stock valuation.

Earlier that Friday, an investigative piece by Reuters, drawing information from three anonymous insiders and internal documents, had indicated that Tesla was moving away from its previous ambition of producing a $25,000 budget-friendly electric vehicle (EV). Instead, the focus would now be on developing a robotaxi built on the platform initially intended for the more affordable EV.

Responding to the Reuters article on X, a platform he owns, Musk outright refuted the claims, labeling them as "lying," yet he provided no evidence to counter the specifics of the report. Shortly thereafter, he made the robotaxi reveal announcement.

For years, speculation and intrigue have surrounded Tesla's deliberations over their vehicle lineup, especially concerning the potential for a car devoid of conventional controls like a steering wheel or pedals. Nonetheless, Elon Musk has famously vacillated on the delivery of fully autonomous vehicles. Despite assurances throughout the years, ranging from a cross-country autonomous drive promised in 2016 to the initial promise of robotaxis in 2020, these ambitious projects have yet to materialize.

Tesla's venture into autonomous driving includes the Autopilot feature, standard on all its vehicles, and the optional Full Self-Driving (FSD) package, costing an additional $12,000. Musk has long championed FSD as the pathway to complete autonomous driving. Although Tesla vehicles equipped with FSD are not yet autonomous, the feature includes sophisticated driving aids that necessitate constant driver vigilance, including the Summon parking aid and the Navigate on Autopilot for highway travel.