Lucid CEO believes autonomous taxi fleets are a decade away

Shane McGlaun - Oct 24, 2021, 9:24am CDT
Lucid CEO believes autonomous taxi fleets are a decade away

The idea of an autonomous taxi is something many automakers and autonomous technology researchers are working towards. In many large urban areas, a primary mode of transportation for citizens are taxis and public transport. The huge number of taxis in some areas creates significant amounts of traffic and accidents as humans aren’t as focused and don’t pay attention as well as autonomous vehicle hardware.

However, according to Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson, we’re still a ways away from autonomous taxi fleets. At the recent Reuters Events Automotive Summit, he said that he believes the industry is about a decade away from fielding fleets of robotaxies. Rawlinson went on to say autonomous taxi services are not coming anytime soon, even with the most advanced sensing systems in the world.

Rawlinson described the challenge ahead for companies building autonomous vehicles as a “mountain to climb” in terms of building software. For those unfamiliar with Rawlinson, he is a former head engineer for Tesla. Tesla is also working on autonomous vehicle systems and has highly advanced driver assistance systems known as Autopilot available in its vehicles today.

Lucid is a company producing electric automobiles and only recently went into mass production with its Air EV. The very first production Air be rolled off the assembly line on September 28. Lucid didn’t say it time how many EVs it had built so far, but we know the company has more than 13,000 orders on the books of the car. At the time, Lucid said that the first Air EVs would be delivered in late October and promised production ramp quickly after that.

Lucid could shape up to be one of the biggest rivals to Tesla. Tesla CEO Elon Musk had in the past promised an autonomous taxi fleet by 2020, something which didn’t happen. Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn was asked recently about when we might see autonomous taxis cruising the roads. All he would say was that it was difficult to be specific on time frames for autonomous technology capability.


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