Car, Go Make Me Some Money!

How much money could a self-driving Tesla make for its owner 1 photo
A few years ago, Christopher was working one of those dull office jobs keeping him busy and glued to a chair, nine to five, in exchange for what may be considered low-to-medium income. He was mildly unhappy, leading a near-average life. Until one day everything changed.
Well, things didn’t actually change in just one day for Christopher. It was more of a year-long smooth transition from a white-collar worker to a rainbow-colored adventurer. A shift from the gray life spent enclosed between just four walls to the colorful one of the roofless space between the many walls of the great city.

The year is 2025. Christopher is just one of the thousands now running their own driverless car-hailing business in the area. Except for a couple of hours a day spent recharging or tinkering his cars, he is now the master of his own time.

His cars sit in a garage somewhere until a customer summons them. Once called for, they head out on their own, drive customers to and fro, and then return to the garage. They don’t ask for weekends off, dental, and never call in sick.

In the hours they were out, the amount of money in Christopher’s bank account grew steadily.

It all started with just one car. Back in the day when his eyes were pinned to a computer screen for hours on end, his EV spent an equal time in the company’s parking lot, gathering dust. And then two things happened.

First, that life-changing update appeared, the one that allowed the car to fully and truly drive itself. Then, the launch of the manufacturer’s car-hailing app, the one that allowed cars like his to be turn into driverless taxis.

At about the same time, something clicked in the head of thousands of people, including Christopher: what if instead of dust, the EV gathered some $?

Acting on an impulse that usually drives either brilliant ideas or major catastrophes, Christopher downloaded the app, downloaded the update, agreed to the terms and conditions and set out to become the man he now is.

For a while longer, he continued to work the same nine to five schedule in the same dark room. But slowly, his income shifted to medium-high, and the quality of his life went up a notch. All of this because while he was at the office, his car was out taking God knows who God knows where in exchange for money.

For months, the car came to pick him up at the end of the day. It drove him home, but instead of waiting in the driveway, it went out into the night to earn even more money for its master.

Soon, Christopher was generating money at an alarming rate. His expenses were minimum, as he only had to pay the carmaker’s commission, the electricity, and the occasional service and maintenance. And with the exception of the few hours needed for the car to recharge, the sound of money coming in never stopped.

Soon, Christopher was rich enough to afford another EV of the same make, for the same purpose. He bought it, and now there were two money-making machines in his garage. And then three, four, five, until he lost count.

Now Christopher is a rich man. He no longer works for a living, he just lives.

The year is 2019. For the past decade, Uber and other similar services have revolutionized urban mobility. Soon, driverless cars operated by Uber, Waymo and more will fill the streets and make companies even richer, as they will no longer have to split profits with drivers.

The year is 2020. Tesla finally introduces the full-driving Autopilot and with it its own car-hailing app. It encourages its customers to let their cars roam free through the city, making money.

In an office somewhere, a man named Cristopher begins downloading the Autopilot update and the car-hailing app. Thousands others do the same.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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