Tesla’s driverless cars may be here before we know it.
CEO Elon Musk said via Twitter Thursday that the company is looking to hire more engineering talent to work on its self-driving car technology.
“Ramping up the Autopilot software team at Tesla to achieve full autonomy. If interested, contact [email protected],” Musk said in a tweet.
Specifically, Musk said he is looking to hire “hardcore software engineers” and that no prior experience with cars is required.
Musk added in a follow-up tweet that he will be personally interviewing candidates, as Tesla’s Autopilot division reports directly to him.
“This is super high priority,” he said via Twitter.
Tesla’s vehicles, of course, already have some autonomous capabilities.
The company released its semi-autonomous Autopilot system at the end of October, which incudes automatic lane change, parallel self-parking, and a cruise feature that drives on the highway.
Musk, though, has ambitious goals for his Tesla cars.
He said earlier this year that the comapny’s fully autonomous vehicles would be ready in about three years. However, he said that he didn’t expect regulations to be in place for self-driving cars for at least another three years after that.
Should mention that I will be interviewing people personally and Autopilot reports directly to me. This is a super high priority.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2015
Other major car companies, including General Motors and Volkswagen have said that they hope to roll out a semi-autonomous system, similar to Tesla’s current Autopilot version, by 2020.
Getting Tesla’s Autopilot to be fully autonomous as soon as possible is a good idea because it helps ensure the safety of the driver.
While helpful, semi-autonomous driver assistance systems can be dangerous in some regards because people begin to trust the technology a little too much and somestimes forget that it has limited capabilities.
After Autopilot was released, there were a number of videos posted to YouTube of Tesla owners compltely taking their hands off the wheels to do other tasks. One man apparently even sat in the back seat of his Tesla while the car drove down a highway.
While Tesla specifically said the technology is not intended to be hands-free, people saw how well it worked an immediatly entrusted their life with it.
By bringing Autopilot to full autonomy, Tesla will not only be ensuring the safety of its customers, but will be ensuring the safety of its business.
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