Are you licensed by California PUC?
Yes, Tesloop has a PUC license (from the California Public Utilities) #License # 36573-A.
What problem are you solving?
Current transportation is extremely detrimental to our environment through its harmful emissions. Tesloop leverages new technology to create a much better system for regional mass transit as opposed to planes, trains, busses and automobile commute.
What is your solution?
Tesloop solves this problem by utilizing a new generation of electric, semi-autonomous vehicles (first from Tesla). This new technology enables an increasingly safe, efficient, and significantly less expensive alternative form of transportation that can be managed at programmatic scale.
Why was Tesloop not possible before /why now?
A platform combining autonomy, electrification, and computerization of vehicles was required to reach the profit margins on this service that we have today. Autonomy allows for the reduction of driving staff costs as well as other major components. Computerization also allows us to create backend APIs that route, query and control these vehicles remotely.
Could you do this with vehicles other than Teslas?
The main aspects we look for in vehicles are a big battery, autopilot, supercharging, and style/draw. Currently only Tesla vehicles fit this category.
What does Tesloop look like in 2 years vs. now?
Tesloop will fill the gaps between most superchargers 100-250 miles apart on a national scale. We plan on having hundreds of cars running at full potential.
What is the future of air travel under 250 miles?
Tesloop beats out a majority of air travel for routes under 250 miles. While regional jets may not disappear fully, we expect that the number of flights will exponentially decay over the next several years. People will not want to deal with airport hassles for a short journey if there are far more convenient and efficient methods available.
What is the difference between driverless cars and autonomous cars?
Driverless cars do not require any driver in the driver seat. While the technology for this may be readily available as soon as 2017, the legislation for practical everyday use of this technology will take years to catch up. On the other hand, autonomous cars require no physical effort from the driver, but does not have to be legally vetted in order to be put into use. For the time being, autonomous cars are really the breakthrough.
In what ways does Tesloop differentiate itself from Uber or other ride sharing services?
Uber, along with many other mobility services, is based on a driver-centric model. On the other hand, Tesloop focuses on a car-centric model. Tesloop’s routes are also pre-scheduled with designated pickup points unlike ride sharing services that allow you to be picked up from your current location. We are also really committed to sustainable transportation. On long distance routes, gas cars can not economicaly compare with Teslas. The extra 20c/mile becomes a large cost component in the long term. If Uber wanted to do this, they would have to switch to electric vehicles, and there are not enough choices currently for their drivers to fully switch. They would have to completely switch their model, and there is no indication that they plan on this.
What guarantees do you have for passenger safety? Are the drivers safe?
All of our drivers are vetted and trained to safely operate the Tesla and its autopilot mode. Once the car is in autopilot, the drivers are already statistically safer than a human driver. The Model S was also rated the safest car ever made, with a massive front crumple zone due to no engine. The drivers try to drive as smoothly as possible and our policy is keeping the car within a safe speed.
Why would I take a Tesloop instead of flying or driving by myself?
Parking at the airport, waiting for a shuttle to pick you up, waiting in the bag check line, checking in, waiting in security line, walking to your gate, waiting for the airplane to traffic and be ready for departure, waiting for other planes to take off runway, waiting for plane to taxi back to gate after landing, waiting for bags, and getting out of airport traffic are all hectic activities that are eliminated through Tesloop. Driving yourself may make sense if you are traveling with a full car, but a single passenger saves money on gas by taking Tesloop. The passenger does not have to drive at all, allowing them to catch some sleep or get some productive time.
How does Tesloop decide on its pickup / drop off locations? Why don’t you do home pickups?
Tesloop PUDO locations are dispersed along the route. Since autopilot only works on highways, we try to make the PUDOs as close to the highway as possible. We try to select the most conveniently and quick locations so there is less hassle and less delay. We do not offer home pickups because we need to be able to stay on track of our trips and keep a solid pace.
How does Tesloop determine its routes? What is eligible / ineligible?
Tesloop’s routes are between 100-250 miles, have supercharging at origin/[middle]/destination, and are highly trafficked.
Do you need autopilot to make this service work?
While autopilot is essential to the overall goals of Tesloop, daily trips are still 100% functional without autopilot. The only difference is that the driver will have more work to do, and their exertion may trickle down to other duties. Autopilot will also allow us to further scale the pilot program, which reduces the largest cost component.
How do you account for supercharger backup?
Superchargers are critical to the operation, and so far Tesla has spent around 1-2 B on supercharger infrastructure, and plans to double this investment over the next few years. No other company has made such an investment or even made plans for such a network of high speed chargers. Their general rule is that they are committed to no wait times, and our experience has shown that backups are not a huge issues. Even if we do have to wait for a supercharging stall to open, this wait is less than the impact traffics unreliability could cause on the total trip time.
What is to stop someone else from replicating this idea?
While it isn’t impossible for someone to replicate this idea, Tesloop is relatively protected in a few ways. First, another company would have to quickly acquire mass vehicles which is not extremely easy with Tesla. Second, we will have the most convenient routes and most available time slots because we are the market leaders, so catching up would be hard. Then there is brand name recognition that Tesloop will create, generating a loyal fan base.
How long does the car have to charge for?
If your trip requires a mid-point charging stop, you will be routed to a supercharger along the way. Normally our charging stops are between 20-25 minutes. During this time, the car can charge enough to reach the final destinations, and passengers can get fresh air and a stretch break.
How did Tesloop begin?
The founder, Haydn, came up with the idea to drive people back and forth to Vegas in a leased Tesla to make up for the payments. The original numbers were crunched, and the concept projected to be exponentially profitable to an extent.
What is the biggest cost component currently/ how do you plan to reduce this?
Currently our biggest cost component is driver staffing. We plan to introduce the “Pilot’s Club”, where trained passengers can choose to book the drivers seat for free. They will have to handle customer service to other passengers but in return will drive for free.
What do you expect the average lifespan of a Tesla car is? What’s up with the 4 million mile warranty?
We expect the average service life span to be around 1-2 million miles. Tesla guarantees it’s cars with an 8 year / unlimited mile warranty on the motor, and all the other parts of the car can be replaced to keep the car running.
How much of an influence does weather play on routing?
Good weather is good for us. Sunny days do not create mud to be cleaned or traffic to be waited in. Because of this, we try to eliminate routes with regularly bad weather such as Seattle to Portland. However, this is not always the case. A route with inclemate weather that could be feasible is LA to Mammoth in the model X. In the long term, we will be able to figure out most routes, but there could be hassles associated with weather.
What has been the most effective customer acquisition strategy, what is in the future?
When we first started we tested everything from Google, Taboolah, Facebook, Youtube, and Travel search engines. Facebook advertising was the majority of our early bookings with a better ROI. Since then, most of our bookings have come from repeat users through word of mouth. In the future we plan to link with a few different distribution channels, such as Hotels and airline extensions.
How big can Tesloop expand? Are international routes a possibility?
Tesloop's short term expansion plan includes dominating the local markets before expanding across borders. Down the road, we plan to open routes linking most superchargers together.
What new possibilities will the Model X open?
The Model X can seat one more person, and also tow up to 5000 pounds. This allows many possibilities, from ski trip runs with baggage being towed behind the car to commercial transport of goods.
How do you plan to manage and control the fleet once it expands?
These cars are becoming more and more drone like. Therefore, we can put navigation points through our servers directly into the car. The driver will still have interference, but in the future we will be able to remotely and programmatically manage everything about the car.
How do you / How will you make money?
We charge for tickets like an airline. Because the operational costs of operating an electric car when you are driving 30k miles a month is about 1/5th of the next best alternative, the profit potential is large. And since cars can be programmatically tracked and controlled, the management efficiencies of scaling this out to thousands of vehicles is unprecedented. Cars are also generally much more flexible than other transit options, so the consumer value you can deliver is really high for the price.
How big is your immediate target market? Your total target market?
The US market for air travel under 250 miles is approximately $10B. Trains and busses are another $4B. Self driving this distance is over $100B. Global numbers where we can operate today increase this amount by about 2x.