Tesla will attempt built its own self-driving cars in the next few years, it has been reported. Elon Musk, the firm’s president, has predicted its self-driving cars will be able to drive unaided for the vast majority of journey types by 2017.
“It’s not speculation,” Musk said. “We should be able to do 90 per cent of miles driven within three years. “
Further details of Tesla’s robotic cars are being kept a secret, but Musk did confirm the technology required to enable autonomous driving would be developed in-house by Tesla rather than being sourced by a third party company.
Tesla is currently advertising a new vacancy within its ranks for an engineer “responsible for developing vehicle-level decision-making and lateral and longitudinal control strategies for Tesla’s effort to pioneer fully automated driving” on its website.
Tesla isn’t the only company pursuing autonomous car technology. Google has been experimenting with driverless cars for several years, but has struggled to find automotive manufacturers willing to integrate the search giant’s technology in real world, mass produced vehicles.
Interestingly, Tesla has a slightly different approach to Google’s.
“My opinion is it’s a bridge too far to go to fully autonomous cars,” Mr Musk told the Financial Times. “It’s incredibly hard to get the last few per cent.”
Instead, Musk said Tesla is working on a plan that will allow drivers to enable a form of “auto-pilot” in most situations that would allow the vehicle to take over control.
This approach, we believe, is not only easier to implement, but also more likely to be accepted by a road-using public that is still skeptical of driverless vehicles. Bring it on. When it’s safe, that is.