Elon Musk: Tesla Capable of “90% Autopilot” By Next Year

EVs are just one part of Elon Musk’s plan to run the auto industry, as the Silicon Valley entrepreneur also wants to lead development of autonomous cars, and in his latest interview Musk says that Tesla will have a car capable of “90% autopilot” as soon as next year.

In the 44-second interview clip from CNNMoney, Musk says that “A Tesla car next year will be 90% capable of autopilot.” Musk clarifies that he means that 90% of your daily driven highway miles can be handled by the car alone. This is an even more aggressive timeline than Musk’s previous statements, which indicated such technology was still three or four years out.

However, we’ve seen the recent addition of some low-level autonomous driving features Teslas made since mid-September. This include a lane departure warning and speed assist system that lets you know when you’re going over the speed limit, though a hidden menu hints that blind spot monitoring may be on the way soon as well.

Other automakers are working to make self-driving cars a reality, but their timelines are a lot less aggressive. Musk apparently sees autonomous driving technology as a cornerstone to 21st century driving, but companies like Mercedes and Audi don’t see driverless features as making many inroads before 2020. One study even says fully autonomous cars won’t arrive till 2030 at the soonest.

Of course this is Elon Musk we’re talking about, the man who made a viable electric car company when others said it couldn’t possibly be done. Don’t ever doubt this dude when he says something can be done, because Musk is shoving the entire auto industry forward with his ideas of how an electric car should be. And if Tesla can’t become a leader in autonomous cars? “Shame on us,” says Musk.

It seems he might hold more than a little contempt for the status quo, and if he can build a better car, why shouldn’t he?

Christopher DeMorro

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