Musk: Tesla ‘Vastly Ahead’ on Autonomous Vehicles


Elon Musk doesn’t want to be “overconfident.” He really doesn’t. But when it comes to Tesla’s development of self-driving car technology, it’s pretty much “game, set, and match” because Tesla is “vastly ahead” of everyone else.

These are Musk’s words — to be clear — not ours. We don’t have a horse in this race, I can assure you. But many companies do; in fact, a tally by CB Insight last year accounted for 46 corporations who were spending R&D dollars on autonomous vehicle development.

But back to Tesla. The electric vehicle maker has famously offered a semi-autonomous system for its vehicles called Autopilot, but in a recent interview with Lex Fridman’s Artificial Intelligence podcast, Elon said that Tesla already has hardware capable of fully autonomous driving. As the company continues to refine and test, it will become more consistent and then gain regulatory approval.

But the strangest addition he made to this point, according to a report by CNet’s Road Show, is that he envisions the autonomous system, once integrated, will actually make Teslas an appreciating asset — possibly worth even five times more than the purchase price.

Another shocking point from Musk is that he believes we’ll be keeping our hands on the wheel for “at least six more months,” which is a much tighter timeline than many believe to be a reality. In a February report, PC Magazine stressed that driverless cars still have a long way to go and “before we reach the driverless, accident-free utopia we've been dreaming of for decades, we must overcome several hurdles, and they're not all technical.” PC Mag says readying roadways, pedestrians, and machine-to-machine communication will require more time and effort before we see these vehicles hit the streets.


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