Remember all the talk about self-driving cars, and how they won’t be ready for prime time for at least a couple of decades? Well tell that to Elon Musk. The CEO of Tesla Motors claims that within just three years, they have an electric car capable of running on autopilot, handling 90% of driving decisions.
While Musk admits fully-autonomous cars would take longer to develop, he thinks that 90% of driving miles could be handled by Tesla’s in-house technology. This would kickstart the timeline for self-driving cars, which are still said to be anywhere from 8 to 20 years out, depending on who you ask. Google, General Motors, Ford, Nissan, and Volvo are also devoting significant resources to self-driving cars, but Tesla could be the first to offer a mostly-automated car.
So what does that mean, exactly? Musk never specifies, only saying that the 10% of miles that will still require human input may be a “bridge too far” for now. Most likely that means that Tesla is developing technology that can handle highway driving, traffic jams, and low-speed city cruising. But there may be situations, like exiting the highway ramp, using a detour, or driving through a parking garage that may require human guidance.
Elon Musk has so far delivered a swift kick in the ass to the electric car industry, debuted 3D technology worthy of Ironman, and could also push automakers into a new age of autonomous vehicles. This timeline lines up with the supposed debut of Tesla’s $30,000, 200-mile electric sedan.
Coincidence? Probably not.
Source: Financial Times