Elon Musk announced two new Tesla products on the way at his big rodeo party

Including a self-driving 'robotaxi'.
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Elon Musk at Tesla's rodeo party.Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk hosted a rodeo party at the grand opening of the electric vehicle maker’s $1.1 billion factory in Austin, Texas.

At the opening ceremony, Musk said, “It wasn’t easy building this humongous building and getting all this equipment here,” and teased the company’s new products which are still in development.

Musk told the participants that if the factory is put on its side, it’s taller than the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai and that 194 billion hamsters could fit in the building, according to Tesla’s calculations.

The electric vehicle maker aims to make 500,000 units of the Model Y per year in Austin, and is also planning to start production of its Cybertruck next year, Musk revealed.

While more than 75 percent of all fully electric cars sold in the U.S. are Tesla’s vehicles, fully electric vehicles make up about 4 percent of all new vehicle sales domestically.

But it is a known fact that Tesla’s timelines often shift. Most automakers, both using internal combustion engines and electric, are trying to deal with chip shortages and soaring prices for raw materials due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Musk also announced that Tesla plans to widen the use of its new driver assistance program, which is currently limited to a selection of Tesla customers and employees, and said, “We’re aiming to go to wide beta for almost all full self-driving customers in North America this year”. 

Tesla built its Austin factory to increase production of its Model Y electric vehicles and batteries and to produce the Cybertruck.

New Tesla products

Musk also announced that Tesla has two new products that are still in the development phase, Tesla Optimus, previously known as Tesla Bot, and a robotaxi.

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Musk said at the event that version 1 of Optimus will hopefully start production in 2023, and added, “It will upend our idea of what the economy is. It will be able to do basically anything humans don’t want to do. It will do it. It’s going to bring an age of abundance. It may be hard to imagine it, but as you see Optimus develop, and we will make sure it’s safe, no Terminator stuff, it will transform the world to a degree even greater than the cars”.

Musk must be excited as Optimus has the potential to impact labor shortage and eventually the broader economy.

He also told that Tesla is going to build a new futuristic-looking electric vehicle as a “dedicated robotaxi” but did not offer a clear timeline for the new vehicle.

He announced the newest vehicle to join the company’s lineup will be a self-driving model and will strictly be used for a taxi service and said, “There’s going to be a dedicated robotaxi that is going to look quite futuristic-looking”.

We are excited to hear about Optimus and the robotaxi, let’s see if Tesla can deliver Optimus on the promised date and when the robotaxi will be in service.

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