Elon Musk Reveals Sentimental Reason for Launching Robotaxi 8/8

Elon Musk Reveals Sentimental Reason for Launching Robotaxi 8/8

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Monday provided a rationale for determining the dates for unveiling the EV company’s robotaxi, including a personal one.

What Happened: Earlier this month, Musk announced that the company’s robotaxi would be unveiled on Aug. 8.

The CEO on Monday clarified that he picked the date partly because “8/8” is deemed a lucky number in China. The date also coincides with the birthday of his triplets, he said in a post reply.

The CEO, however, did not confirm the X user’s prediction that the choice of date implies that the unveiling would be held in China.

On Monday, it was reported that Tesla has partnered with Beijing-based internet company Baidu Inc for lane-level mapping and navigation data for China and was deemed in compliance with China’s data security requirements by a Chinese auto association, marking a significant stride towards the deployment of its full self-driving (FSD) driver assistance software in the world’s largest EV market.

Why It Matters: Musk’s triplets, Kai, Damian, and Sax, were born on Aug.8, 2006, to him and his first wife, Justine Wilson. Interestingly, the date also carries significant meaning in China. The number eight is considered lucky, sounding similar to the word for “prosperity” and often associated with good fortune. This association extends to business ventures, with the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing even holding its opening ceremony on 8/8/2008.

Earlier this month, Musk said that dedicating to autonomous driving is a “blindly obvious move” for Tesla.

“Not quite betting the company, but going balls to the wall for autonomy is a blindingly obvious move,” Musk wrote. “Everything else is like variations on a horse carriage.”

Deploying autonomous vehicles hinges on both technological advancement and regulatory approval.

Tesla’s Director of Autopilot software, Ashok Elluswamy, believes regulatory hurdles might be minimal if sufficient data proves the safety advantages of autonomous cars over human-driven vehicles.

Other autonomous car companies have also been clearing the regulatory path for Tesla, Elluswamy said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call earlier this month, possibly referring to Alphabet Inc‘s Waymo.

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