World’s richest man and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, has announced that the company will be prioritising the development of a robot in 2022. He made this known on Wednesday during its fourth-quarter earnings call.
According to the multi-billionaire, humanoid robot is the “most important product” that Tesla is developing this year, prioritising it ahead of the car making business.
Musk added that the company has no plans to introduce the Cybertruck this year and that it isn’t currently working on a $25,000 vehicle. The lingering chip shortage hampers the release of new models without resulting in fewer total vehicles being delivered, he said.
However, this may just be an example of the billionaires dramaturgy as this would not be the first time the billionaire is announcing that Tesla is working on a product scheduled to be ready in the future in order to pique the interest of the people or excite backers, employees, investors, customers and the product not being available by the timeline provided.
For instance, in April 2019 he said that the company would have 1 million robotaxis on the road in 2020, It’s the year 2022 and we still don’t have them. While speaking at the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call he however made it clear that the Robot may be years away and may even never come to fruition but he was also of the opinion that it has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time.
The robot which is to be named Optimus Primus is created to be friendly, navigate through a world of humans and eliminate dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks. He however added that Tesla does not intend to use the robots for manufacturing as even though advancements in robotics have allowed companies to replace certain workers with machines, there are many tasks that still need to be done by humans.
“If you think about the economy, it is — the foundation of the economy is labor. Capital equipment is distilled labor, so what happens if you don’t actually have a labor shortage? I’m not sure what an economy even means at that point. That’s what Optimus is about, so [it’s] very important,” he said.