Tesla’s self-driving vehicles are not far off.
During an interview earlier this week with the Danish news site Borsen, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company is rolling out its “Autopilot” feature to the masses next month and the company’s fully autonomous vehicles will be ready in just a few short years.
“The Tesla that is currently in production has the ability to do automatic steering autopilot on highway. That is currently being beta tested and will go into wide release early next month. So, we are probably only a month away from having autonomous driving at least for highways and for relatively simple roads,” Musk said. “My guess for when we will have full autonomy is approximately three years.”
While Tesla will be ready to roll out its self-driving cars in a just a few short years, the government may not be ready for them.
Tesla is already testing its self-driving car technology on public roads in California, but Musk said that he doesn’t expect regulators to allow fully autonomous vehicles on the road beyond testing purposes for another one to three years after Tesla finishes its self-driving car.
“In some markets regulators will be more forward leaning than others, but in terms of when it will be technologically possible, it will be three years,” Musk said.
Twenty years from now, Musk said it’s likely all cars being built will be self-driving and a very large percentage of vehicles will be electric.
Major automakers and tech companies — including Google, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and reportedly Apple — are all currently working on autonomous driving technology. However, like Tesla, many car makers are first rolling out Autopilot-like functions into their newer cars, which enable the vehicle to do things like autonomously drive on the highway and self-park.
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