A SA company wants to let you rent your car to strangers by 2020 – roughly when Elon Musk wants his self-driving cars to do the same thing

Business Insider SA

Cartrack CEO Zak Calisto and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Cartrack CEO Zak Calisto and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
  • Cartrack wants South Africans to rent out their cars by 2020 by using trackers. 
  • SA-born Elon Musk hopes his company would do the same thing but by self-driving cars. 
  • Musk, however, said he’ll likely struggle to get regulatory approval. 
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Cartrack - which now has over a million clients worldwide, is hoping to use trackers to allow South Africans to rent out vehicles, Engineering News reported.

South African-born Tesla CEO Elon Musk similarly in April said the electric-car maker aims to operate an autonomous taxi service by the end of 2020.

Speaking to Engineering News, Cartrack CEO Zak Calisto said that private vehicles will be able to be rented out “as a sort of Airbnb” while consumers keep track of the car through an app. 

The tracking service is also planning to let consumers know when to replace tyres and sell their vehicles on a Cartrack platform.

Also read: This was the longest Uber trip in South Africa - ever

Fin24 reported that Cartrack’s subscription revenue grew by 26% to R897 million over the past year, and subscriber growth grew by 22%.

South Africa, one of Cartrack’s 22 markets, represented R655 million of its total income, or over 70%. 

In Musk’s announcement in April, he said he wants to roll out 1 million robo-taxis by 2020, directly taking on Uber. 

Details were however scarce, and he admitted that the company may not receive immediate regulatory approval to use the cars in an autonomous taxi service in some areas.

Mary Cummings, a professor at Duke who researches autonomous-vehicle technology, said it's unlikely Tesla will meet Musk's prediction. 

"This is a publicity stunt to take away attention from the quarterly earnings," Cummings told Business Insider at the time.

(Compiled by James de Villiers)