Autonomous Cars elon-musk-tesla

Published on September 20th, 2013 | by Christopher DeMorro

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Tesla To Debut 90% Self-Driving Car In Three Years

elon-musk-teslaRemember 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



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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • Jason Carpp

    90% self-driving? I still think that’s crazy. Sounds like something to be left in science fiction. What role (if any) will we humans have in what the car does? Hopefully, at least, in steering the car, if not much else.

    • UncleB

      We struggle to patch the gap between the American driver and the Chinese, Japanese, electric bullet train?

    • danwat1234

      You can always shut off the autonomous features

  • Wiggletoes

    Engineers must learn to automate cars to teach, assist, drivers how to/to drive better or just as pilots forget how to fly (Air France flight 447) then drivers will forget how to drive. Automated driving is Tesla Humvee a silicon valley monstrosity of programmers. Cars must use renewable fuels efficiently and not require NG or coal generated power and electric cars must add stability to the grid and not instability. FC cars fueled by reformed cellulosic (hydrogen) ethanol meets these requirements, automated cars does not.

    • UncleB

      Solar, Wind Wave, Hydro, Tidal, Geothermal, Biological, domestic, electricity sources have set Germany and Denmark free of the warring, plundering of lesser nations for their Oil. As America “downsizes” from the glories of the Cheap Oil Age, and seeks scientific and technological means to survive sustainably, she will give rebirth to super insulation, ever better, ever cheaper Solar cells, Passive Solar design, Electric storage systems, heat storage systems, even graphine and nano carbon super-capacitors, homes designed for realistic survival in this new age, smaller better, super insulation insulated,(areogels?) Solar, passive and active equipped, with composting, grey water use, with garden plot, not a lawn, room for aquaculture, chickens, and electric transportation adequate to get to and from home, and the electric bullet train systems, rail, subways, and other electric public transportation systems. All liquid fuels will be reserved for the military soon enough in the U.S.A., and Chinese technologies for Thorium LFTR reactors for cheap clean electricity will prevail (full magnitude cheaper, and plutonium free)

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