From Cybertruck to a self-driving Robotaxi: Bizarre tech Tesla has announced but never released

16 mins read


After months of anticipation, Elon Musk finally took the wraps off Tesla’s first AI humanoid robot, ‘Optimus’ last week.

Optimus, which was first announced in August last year, received a frenzied reception at the firm’s AI Day event in California on Friday. 

The bot was filmed emerging from behind a wall with two robotic hands in a heart shape, before taking a few tentative steps to wild applause. 

Musk said Tesla is planning to sell the bot for ‘probably less than $20,000′ (£17,700) in three to five years’ – meaning another long wait for Tesla fans to get their hands on the firm’s most anticipated technology.  

Following its unveiling, MailOnline has taken a look at the Tesla products that have been announced but are still yet to be released – including Cybertruck, Robotaxi and the second-generation Roadster. 

Following the unveiling of Optimus, MailOnline has taken a look at the Tesla products that have been announced but are still yet to be released - including Cybertruck, Robotaxi and the second-generation Roadster

Following the unveiling of Optimus, MailOnline has taken a look at the Tesla products that have been announced but are still yet to be released – including Cybertruck, Robotaxi and the second-generation Roadster

After months of tweets and teases, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla's new humanoid Optimus robot using the company's technology at their AI Day presentation

After months of tweets and teases, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s new humanoid Optimus robot using the company’s technology at their AI Day presentation

Meet Optimus 

Height: 5ft 8

Weight: 125lbs 

Carry capacity: 45lbs

Deadlift: 150lbs 

Speed: 5mph 

OPTIMUS 

Optimus, Tesla’s almost six-foot-tall humanoid robot, was finally properly unveiled for the first time after much anticipation at the firm’s ‘AI Day’ event.

Optimus can walk at five miles per hour, deadlift 150 pounds and carry 45 pounds. 

It includes the Autopilot computer used in the company’s electric cars, which allows the humanoid to recognise real-world objects. 

It’s been designed to handle ‘dangerous and boring’ tasks in a factory and other settings, although it will be ‘friendly’ and make a ‘very good companion’, like a pet. 

It should be able to handle a range of jobs – from attaching bolts to cars with a wrench, to picking up groceries in shops. 

Meanwhile, the screen on the bot’s face is an interactive interface for communication with people. 

Customers will be able to buy Optimus in three to five years’ time, according to Musk, with a retail price of ‘probably less than $20,000’ (£17,700).

Musk told the crowd that this was the first time it had walked without a tether, according to The Verge . The billionaire Tesla CEO said they're planning to sell it for'probably less than $20,000'

The robot – teased at last year’s event by a person in a spandex costume – was the star for the tech giant, as Musk claimed it would ‘be a fundamental transformation for civilization as we know it’

Optimus' was unveiled before moving its hands and then taking its first steps to rabid applause from those watching. The bot then waved to the crowd - which by this time was in raptures - and then lifted up both hands to'raise the roof'

Optimus’ was unveiled before moving its hands and then taking its first steps to rabid applause from those watching. The bot then waved to the crowd – which by this time was in raptures – and then lifted up both hands to ‘raise the roof’

CYBERTRUCK 

Cybertruck, Tesla’s ultra-resilient all-electric pick-up truck, is possibly the most hyped up Telsa product of all – Musk has referred to it as ‘our magnum opus’.

But three years after it was shown off, it’s still yet to enter production. 

Cybertruck, which looks like an armoured vehicle with a futuristic angular body, was announced and displayed at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, California in November 2019.

It was set to go into production in 2021, but this was pushed back to 2022, and yet again to next year. 

Musk has previously blamed battery supply issues for the delay, saying that each Cybertruck would ‘literally cost a million dollars a piece or more’ if Tesla had started producing the futuristic vehicle in 2021. 

The pickup, which Musk said will cost $39,900 (£31,000) and up, will have an estimated battery range of up to 500 miles. 

Last week, Musk claimed the company’s much-delayed Cybertruck will have capabilities on water as well as land. 

Cybertruck, Tesla's ultra-resilient all-electric pick-up truck, is possibly the most hyped up Telsa product of all – Musk has referred to it as'our magnum opus'

Cybertruck, Tesla’s ultra-resilient all-electric pick-up truck, is possibly the most hyped up Telsa product of all – Musk has referred to it as ‘our magnum opus’ 

Cybertruck, which looks like an armoured vehicle with a futuristic angular body, was announced and displayed at Tesla's design studio in Hawthorne, California in November 2019

Cybertruck, which looks like an armoured vehicle with a futuristic angular body, was announced and displayed at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, California in November 2019

The pickup, which Musk said will cost $39,900 (£31,000) and up, will have an estimated battery range of up to 500 miles

The pickup, which Musk said will cost $39,900 (£31,000) and up, will have an estimated battery range of up to 500 miles 

‘Cybertruck will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rives, lakes and even seas that aren’t too choppy,’ the billionaire wrote on Twitter.

‘Needs be able to get from Starbase to South Padre Island, which requires crossing the channel.’ 

Tesla boasts that the car’s nearly impenetrable monochrome exoskeleton provides passengers maximum protection, together with ultra-strong glass that absorbs and redirects impact force.

Despite this, Elon Musk was left embarrassed during the car’s live demonstration in 2019 when the Cybertruck glass was smashed. 

A more recent prototype of the truck, shown off during the Cyber Rodeo event in Texas in April, doesn’t have handles on the doors.

Musk said ‘the car can tell that you’re there and it just knows that it needs to open’. 

CYBERQUAD

The Cyberquad, a two-seater quad bike, was first shown off at the same time as the Cybertruck, back in November 2019. 

The all-terrain vehicle, which shares the truck’s distinctive angular design, was intended to to be released at the same time as the Cybertruck. 

Musk has said Cyberquad will be available as an optional accessory for the Cybertruck, as they were originally designed as a pair. 

Although both are yet to enter production, Tesla has kept some of its younger fans happy with a scaled down version of Cyberquad. 

In December 2021, Tesla released Cyberquad for Kids, featuring a steel frame, cushioned seat, adjustable suspension, rear disk braking and LED light bars.

Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the Cyberquad for Kids has 15 miles of range and top speeds of 10 miles per hour. 

However, consumers are still waiting for the full-scale version of the quad bike, which could even arrive after Cyberquad comes out. 

The Cyberquad, a two seater quad bike, was first shown off at the same time as the Cybertruck, back in 2019. It's yet to go on sale

The Cyberquad, a two seater quad bike, was first shown off at the same time as the Cybertruck, back in 2019. It’s yet to go on sale

However, in December 2021, Tesla released a scaled-down version of Cyberquad called Cyberquad for Kids, featuring a steel frame, cushioned seat, adjustable suspension, rear disk braking and LED light bars

However, in December 2021, Tesla released a scaled-down version of Cyberquad called Cyberquad for Kids, featuring a steel frame, cushioned seat, adjustable suspension, rear disk braking and LED light bars 

TESLA SEMI SPECS 

Range: Up to 500 miles

Acceleration: 0-60mph in 20 seconds

Energy consumption: Less than 2 kWh per mile

Charging: Up to 70 per cent in 30 minutes

Length: 20 feet (estimated) 

Cost: $150,000/$180,000 

SEMI

Tesla’s heavy-duty Semi was first announced back in 2017 but five years later it’s still yet to hit the market.

The massive truck, said to be 20-feet long, can reach 60 miles per hour with an 80,000-pound load and is intended for highway drivers. 

According to the specs on the Tesla website, it has an impressive acceleration, going from 0-60 mph in 20 seconds. 

Semi has Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving system, designed to keep a vehicle in its lane without drifting, and can transition from one freeway to another with no human intervention. 

The base version of Semi will cost about $150,000 (£132,000) and be able to travel up to 300 miles in a charge, while a 500-mile range model will go for $180,000 (£158,000). 

Musk recently tweeted that the Tesla 500 mile range Semi will start shipping this year, while the Cybertruck will ship from next year.  

Prototypes of the Semi have been spotted in California – in June, it was filmed assisting with the installation of vehicle chargers. 

It’s also been on display at Tesla’s 2,500 acre manufacturing facility in Texas during the Cyber Rodeo event in April.  

According to the specs on the Tesla website, Semi has an impressive acceleration, going from 0-60 mph in 20 seconds

According to the specs on the Tesla website, Semi has an impressive acceleration, going from 0-60 mph in 20 seconds

The Tesla Semi is on display at the Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing facility during the'Cyber Rodeo' grand opening party on April 7, 2022 in Austin, Texas

The Tesla Semi is on display at the Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing facility during the ‘Cyber Rodeo’ grand opening party on April 7, 2022 in Austin, Texas

ROADSTER

Like the Semi, the second-generation Tesla Roadster, a swanky sports car with ‘record-setting acceleration’, was announced five years ago and is still in development. 

Set to start from $200,000 (£176,000), the updated version of Tesla’s first production vehicle from 2008 can travel 620 miles on a single charge – a new record for an electric vehicle.

Its maximum speed is over 250 miles per hour, which would make it the fastest car in general production. 

Musk has said the new Roadster should ship in 2023, providing 2022 ‘is not mega drama’ in terms of supply chain issues. 

Musk also previously said on comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast that Roadster was lower priority and compared it to a ‘dessert’. 

‘We gotta get the meat and potatoes and greens and stuff,’ he said. 

The first-generation Roadster went on sale in 2008 and was sold until 2012, when the Model S was introduced.   

The second-generation Tesla Roadster, a swanky all-electric sports car, was announced five years ago and is still in development

The second-generation Tesla Roadster, a swanky all-electric sports car, was announced five years ago and is still in development 

ROBOVAN

Musk has also said that Tesla is working on a robotic self-driving van, referred to ‘Robovan’ or ‘Robotaxi’, that’s designed to carry people and cargo.

Back in April at the Cyber Rodeo event, Musk said: ‘There’s going to be a dedicated robotaxi that is going to look quite futuristic-looking.’

And in a series of tweets in July, the CEO shared some potential details of the Robovan, which would serve as a taxi shuttle.

It could come with ‘an optional solar power canopy that extends both sides of the van, tripling roof area’, he said.

‘A van would have more roof height, so you could stand or sit under it for shade,’ Musk said.

Musk also commented on a user’s renderings of what the Robovan could look like. It’s not known how far ahead Tesla is with the Robovan, or how much it would cost.

Billionaire Elon Musk (pictured) has served as CEO of Tesla since 2008, five years after the company was founded in July 2003

Billionaire Elon Musk (pictured) has served as CEO of Tesla since 2008, five years after the company was founded in July 2003

In a series of tweets in July, the CEO shared some potential details of the ‘Robovan'. At this point, Musk had already said a couple of months prior:'There’s going to be a dedicated robotaxi that is going to look quite futuristic-looking'

In a series of tweets in July, the CEO shared some potential details of the ‘Robovan’. At this point, Musk had already said a couple of months prior: ‘There’s going to be a dedicated robotaxi that is going to look quite futuristic-looking’

$25,000 CAR

In 2020, Musk said Tesla expects to have a $25,000 electric car out within three years, although the vehicle in question is also yet to arrive.

The car will ‘be on-par or slightly better than a comparable gasoline car’, Musk claimed at the Tesla Battery Day presentation that September.

Musk said at the time: ‘Tesla will make a compelling $25,000 electric vehicle that is also fully autonomous.’

However, an update from the CEO in January revealed that Tesla is not working on the car at the moment because it has ‘too much on its plate’.  

Tesla hasn’t released a new vehicle since the Model Y in 2020, but Musk has promised a ‘massive wave of new products’ in 2023.

Cybertruck, Semi and Roadster could all be delivered to buyers next year, although projected release dates for Tesla products have been pushed back several times before and could be delayed again. 

TESLAS WILL BE ‘MORE INTELLIGENT’ THAN HUMANS BY 2033, STUDY REVEALS 

Tesla cars will be ‘more intelligent’ than humans by 2033, a recent study claims.

The D1 microchip, Tesla’s new microchip for its cars, can handle 362 trillion operations per second – a processing power that’s 36 per cent of a person’s brain. 

The brain is capable of one quadrillion operations per second (that’s the number one, followed by 15 zeros), 

The study was conducted by car and van leasing company Vanarama. The firm made its prediction by analysing past and current Tesla microchips to find that their capability is increasing at an eye-popping rate of 486 per cent per year. 

‘It wouldn’t be crazy to believe that tech will become significantly smarter than humans in our lifetime,’ Vanaram said. 

‘Microchips are currently capable of working the way brain synapses do, with researchers developing chips that are inspired by the way the brain operates.’

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