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Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded That Tesla Build A Full-On ‘Robotaxi’ With No Steering Wheel Or Pedals

Elon Musk reportedly became so obsessed with his “robotaxi” concept that he demanded that Tesla engineers start building the driverless vehicles despite the fact that the electric car company was, and still is, far behind on it’s questionable Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology. The revelation comes from Walter Isaacson‘s upcoming biography, Elon Musk, in an excerpt that cements Musk’s compulsive fixations and wild mood swings.

According to Axios, Musk was supposed to be focusing on Tesla’s plan to deliver the first $25,000 electric car to consumers, which would have been a “game-changer” to the entire automotive industry. Instead, Musk became hyper-focused on creating an autonomous robotaxi that he theorized would make its owners up to $30,000 a year and “eliminate the need for people to even own cars.”

Musk became obsessed with the idea in November 2021 and began instructing his engineers to begin building the vehicle with some very concerning specifications: “No mirrors, no pedals, no steering wheel. This is me taking responsibility for this decision.”

When the Tesla engineers raised obvious safety concerns and suggested building a model that could have a steering wheel and pedals that are easily removed, Musk reportedly went into a “cold mood.”

“Let me be clear,” Musk slowly said. “This vehicle must be designed as a clean robotaxi. We’re going to take that risk. It’s my fault if it f–ks up. But we are not going to design some sort of amphibian frog that’s a halfway car. We are all in on autonomy.”

Ultimately, the Tesla designers found a “non-challenging way” to convince Musk to “cover his bet” by including the necessary safety features they proposed and not have the robotaxi completely rely on FSD.

(Via Axios)