Tesla Gives a Sneak Peek at Upcoming Ride-Hailing App

Tesla Gives a Sneak Peek at Upcoming Ride-Hailing App - Featured

Tesla is teasing once again its promised ride-hailing service, even offering screenshots that show some of what it may offer.

During its 1Q24 earnings call, Tesla offered investors (and now you) a sneak peek at its upcoming ride-hailing app. The company has teased for years the intent to start its own competitor to Uber, Lyft, and others. Nothing has really come of the promises except, well, promises. However, the automaker just published a preview of what its service might look like in the app.

Waiting for Unsupervised Self-Driving

During the past few years, Tesla has made several suggestions about what its ride-hailing app might look like. The idea of releasing it without self-driving capabilities was talked about, but the latest information makes it clear that’s not in the cards.

Instead, Tesla is waiting until it perfects its full self-driving capabilities. Recent progress in the Full Self Driving (FSD) program is apparently encouraging enough that the company thinks it may soon be able to put fully autonomous Tesla automobiles on the road as, basically, robot taxis.

During Tesla’s earnings results call, the company mentioned the future of ride-hailing:

We have been investing in the hardware and software ecosystems necessary to achieve vehicle autonomy and a ride-hailing service.

What a Ride in a Shared Tesla Could Look Like

In the preview screenshots of the ride-hailing app, Tesla gives an idea of what the service would entail. It looks like the Uber app, but with a decidedly Tesla look and feel. In fact, having ridden in several Tesla cars in the past, I have to say the interface looks very similar to the display panel in the automobile itself.

tesla display

All Images credit Tesla

That makes sense, too, since Tesla says the ride-hailing service won’t be in its own app. Instead, it will be directly included in the Tesla app owners of the EVs use. According to Tesla:

We are currently working on ride-hailing functionality that will be available in the future. We believe the Tesla software experience is best-in-class across all our products, and plan to seamlessly layer ride-hailing into the Tesla App.

The screenshots show being able to “Summon” a car, laying proof to the notion of it being unsupervised. Within the app, the rider can also adjust the climate controls to have the vehicle at exactly their preferred temperature. Entertainment is also controlled by the passenger, who can set the music to play directly from the app.

Tesla Ride Hailing Preview

Still a Murky Future

What Tesla didn’t say was when the service might be available. Of course, that has a lot to do with the fact that national and local governments still aren’t on board with letting a car just drive itself around unsupervised.

Tesla says its latest FSD software brings the ride-hailing service closer than ever to reality, but it also led folks along for months that the Cybertruck was just around the corner. After numerous delays, the CyberTruck began deliveries and quickly proved to be more hype than anything else.

I’ll also say this, based on my experiences riding in Tesla automobiles. It’s a cool experience, but comfort leaves a lot to be desired. The batteries beneath the floorboard lead to a very uncomfortable ride with your knees almost in your stomach. Honestly, I’d rather ride in the backseat of a Chevrolet Bolt than a Tesla.

Then again, if there’s no driver, there’s no reason a solo passenger or even a pair of passengers couldn’t just ride in the front.

What do you think? Would you “summon” a Tesla to take you out for that night on the town, or would you stick with one of the more established ride-hailing options?



  1. Steve Krause

    April 24, 2024 at 10:01 am

    I’ve been thinking a lot about getting a Telsa with the promise from Elon that I could push a button and make my car to an autonomous taxi while I’m not using it.

    One of the problems with this however is what happens if someone vomits in my car? I assume it will drive itself to a Tesla “taxi” center to be detailed and sent back out? Yeah, perhaps it could work…

    • Jeff Butts

      April 24, 2024 at 10:08 am

      Very good point. I wonder, though, if it would be Tesla owners putting their cars up for hire, or the company itself doing it.

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