When you think of electric cars, the first name that comes to mind for many is Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla. The engineer and inventor is also a strong supporter of autonomous vehicles, speaking to Fortune, he said that they are actually looking to build their first self-driving cars by the end of 2017.
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, said they are just two years away from developing a fully autonomous vehicle, and he wasn’t referring to simple prototypes, but to devices which can ‘behave’ themselves safely in any type of environment.
Last year, Musk said the technology needed to build a self driving car was still about five to six years away, so that’s why his remark has surprised many. He mentioned:
“I think we have all the pieces. and it’s just about refining those pieces, putting them in place, and making sure they work across a huge number of environments—and then we’re done. It’s a much easier problem than people think it is.. But it’s not like George Hotz, a one-guy-and-three-months problem. You know, it’s more like, thousands of people for two years.”
Another interesting remark from Musk came a few weeks ago when he said that ‘owning a non-autonomous vehicle in 15 years will be like owning a horse‘. Speaking with the WSJ, he said the following:
“Well, I’m actually on record saying that I think that all cars will go fully autonomous in the long-term. I think it will be quite unusual to see cars that don’t have full autonomy, let’s say, in 15-20 years. And for Tesla, it will be a lot sooner than that.”
Self driving cars may be nearly ready, but it could still be awhile before we see them on our roads. A lot of regulatory hurdles still need to be overcome, and consumers also need to be convinced that autonomous vehicles are much safer.