Tesla is planning to use its Optimus robot, also known as Tesla Bot, in its stores in an attempt to help sales, but not necessarily how you think.
We are not talking about robots taking care of customers walking into the stores, or at least not just yet.
Sources familiar with the matter told Electrek that Tesla has been experimenting with using Optimus humanoid robot display units inside its stores in China.
The automaker has found that the Tesla Bot was getting a lot of attention at expos and conferences.
Tesla believes Optimus is going to help foot traffic and customer engagement inside its stores.
Sources familiar with the matter told Electrek that Tesla is already testing the approach in China, which is Tesla’s gold standard for retail performance.
Despite record deliveries that beat Wall Street expectations, Tesla didn’t hit its delivery goal for North America last quarter.
Tom Zhu, Tesla’s former head of China who recently took over the company’s entire global automotive business, has been putting a lot of pressure on the North American team to have retail performance closer to Tesla’s China team.
Optimus is apparently part of the solution.
As we recently reported, Tesla Bot has started to become less of a sideshow and looks more like a real product following Tesla’s release of impressive new footage.
CEO Elon Musk went as far as “confidently predicting” that Optimus will account for “a majority of Tesla’s long-term value.”
However, the company appears to still be far from a useful product yet. The goal is to leverage Tesla’s work in AI from its self-driving effort to power a humanoid robot that would be able to perform a wide range of different tasks.
At first, Tesla aims for Optimus to be able to perform simple repetitive tasks, primarily in its own manufacturing effort. But eventually, Musk said that he wanted Tesla Bot to be a general-purpose robot that everyone could have at home.
In the meantime, it looks like the idea of the Optimus could already be beneficial for Tesla by helping it attract customers for its automotive business.
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