Electric car manufacturer Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday unveiled new details of its long-awaited autonomous ride-hailing service — allowing riders to summon supposedly driverless vehicles via an Uber-like experience. 

During a first-quarter earnings presentation on April 23, the company gave a preview of what the ride-hailing app could look like, showing the ability for a rider to summon a vehicle, set the interior car temperature, track its location, and decide what music to play.

Preview of the ride-hailing service within the Tesla app. Source: Tesla 

Tesla has long teased the mass rollout of robotaxis. In 2019, Musk said he was “very confident” that Tesla would begin operating robotaxis by 2020 — something that didn’t come to fruition. 

The program would let a Tesla owner rent out their vehicle for rides, with Tesla taking a cut of revenue and the rest going to the vehicle’s owner — each car was forecasted to make $30,000 in gross profit per car annually.

During the latest earnings call, Musk clarified the program will work more like a “combination of Airbnb and Uber” where Tesla will operate the main fleet but there will be a number of cars owned by the end-user.

“That end-user can add or subtract their car to the fleet whenever they want, and they can decide if they want to only let the car be used by friends and family or only by five-star users or by anyone,” Musk said.

“At any time they could have the car come back to them and be exclusively theirs like an Airbnb,” he added.

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Musk hinted the initial fleet would be around 7 million vehicles but envisioned it could eventually be in the “tens of millions.”

Tesla is slated to showcase its “purpose-built” robotaxi in August, which Musk has referred to as “Cybercab” in the latest earnings call.

No, Tesla didn’t add more Bitcoin

Meanwhile, the latest earnings report shows Tesla has not touched its Bitcoin (BTC) for the seventh straight quarter, contrary to recent speculation.

Last month, observers noticed that Tesla’s Bitcoin wallet on Arkham Intelligence’s dashboard showed a balance of 11,509 BTC, 1,789 more than the widely reported holdings of 9,720 BTC — as listed on BitcoinTreasuries.

Some speculated that it could mean that Tesla may have added more Bitcoin to its inventory in the quarter.

However, Tesla’s latest balance sheet shows its net digital assets remain unchanged at $184 million.

Tesla balance sheet as of 31 March 2024. Source: Tesla 

Telsa shares jumped 13% in after-hours trading despite Q1 earnings missing analyst expectations and the company notching one of its steepest drops in revenue — falling 9% to $21.3 billion.

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