Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that the first fully self-driving car will be ready in two years. He also said that he thinks that cars will be more skilled at driving than humans the year after that. Musk made the declaration at an artificial intelligence conference yesterday, but it isn’t the first time that he’s made a prediction like this.
Electrek reports that Musk said that the first fully self-driving cars would be available in two years, two years ago in 2015. He added that he thought regulation would be a hurdle that blocked commercialization. But yesterday at the Neural Processing Information Systems conference, he stressed that the three-year timeline was more important. Musk seems to truly think or want us to think that autonomous driving technology will eclipse human driving skills in a relatively short period of time.
In April of this year, the billionaire CEO said that his automotive company was aiming to achieve level 5 autonomy in their electric vehicles. This is the highest level of autonomy assigned by regulators, which is supposed to allow drivers to sleep in the car during their journey. For Tesla, this capability would be powered by the Autopilot 2.0 software that’s in their cars. This second-generation Autopilot technology was released with a “full self-driving capability” option, but they are still some ways away from that.
At his TED Talk in April, Musk predicted that, before the end of the year, they would be able to do a demo drive from California to New York without the driver having to touch the wheel.
“November or December of this year, we should be able to go from a parking lot in California to a parking lot in New York, no controls touched at any point during the entire journey,” he said.
During the talk in April, Elon Musk also reiterated that Level 5 autonomy, which again lets drivers sleep at the wheel, will be available in two years.
At the conference yesterday, Musk also announced that Tesla will be producing the chip that runs the AI for their self-driving software.
Musk said that its processing power will assist Tesla’s Autopilot automated-driving function to protect drivers from accidents, WIRED reports. He also said that their innovation will one day allow cars to drive 10 times safer than humans. He didn’t confirm how far they had progressed in creating the chip and when it will be installed in their electric vehicles.