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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tesla plans to introduce self-driving taxis in some U.S. cities next year, CEO Elon Musk announced on Monday at a company event for investors, during which it also unveiled a new chip to power its autonomous driving system.

The big picture: Tesla has long proclaimed its ambition to operate fleets of self-driving taxis. But limitations of the company's currently available autonomous driving tech — along with well-publicized accidents involving the limited self-driving technology its cars currently offer — raise questions about Tesla's aggressive timeline.

What's new: At the event, Tesla unveiled a new proprietary chip at the center of its autonomous driving tech that it designed on its own for the first time, and said it's already working on the device's next iteration. Previously, Tesla had been using Nvidia chips.

  • "All Tesla cars being produced right now have everything necessary for full self driving — all you need to do is improve the software," said Musk of the new chip. He told investors they'd be able to test-drive cars with the improved software later during the event.
  • Musk's acknowledgment of the need for improved software is also a nod to the limits of Tesla's current autonomous driving system, which cannot currently handle all aspects of the road without human intervention.
  • Tesla’s robotaxi fleets will be made up of vehicles owned by customers, who will be able to lend them out to ferry passengers when they’d otherwise be idle. Tesla will take a 20%–30% cut on those fares, according to Musk, who described the business model as a cross between Uber and Airbnb.

What's next: Tesla is scheduled to release its latest earnings report Wednesday, with analysts expecting disappointing financial results.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Beto not even best Dem against Abbott

Beto O'Rourke speaks at a rally at the Texas State Capitol in June. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Actor Matthew McConaughey’s nine-point lead in a theoretical matchup against Greg Abbott shows just how vulnerable the hard-right Texas governor could be in a general election.

Why it matters: Abbott has won conservative accolades for his abortion, mask and vaccine bans. Axios reported Sunday that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to announce a gubernatorial challenge — but a recent poll shows he’s not even the most popular Democrat in the state.

Delayed maps upend midterm campaigns

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Midterm candidates are panicking about how the congressional maps will ultimately be drawn, with several strategists telling Axios campaigns are in limbo.

Why it matters: Candidates are unsure if the district they're targeting will remain intact or be reshaped by the process. The uncertainty is especially vexing to Democrats, who are vying to maintain their narrow margin in the House.

First look: Conservatives' 2022 big target: Tax increases

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Conservative groups are unveiling huge ad-buys going after vulnerable House Democrats over tax increases and other revenue measures in their party's massive infrastructure spending bill, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: President Biden and Democrats have an immense amount of political capital riding on a $3.5 trillion bill facing razor-thin margins in both chambers. Conservatives are running ads targeting the House members who leaders will need to pass the measure.