We Could See Fully Autonomous Tesla Cars by 2017

Read on ecnmag.com.

In 2017 we could see cars will full autonomy. That is, if the regulators let Elon Musk have his way.

During a Danish media interview, the Tesla CEO made some ambitious predictions about the company’s future, including its plans for self-driving vehicles.

Musk is now saying that Tesla cars should have full autonomy in approximately three years.

This is much sooner than 2020, when predictions suggest we’ll see autonomous cars on the road from Google.

However, although full autonomy will be “technically possible” in 3 years, there are many hurdles facing the tech, like sensors, of course. But the biggest roadblock? Legislation.

As for when regulators are ready to sanction self-driving technologies, they “probably will not allow for full autonomy for one to three years after that,” Musk said. “It depends on the market. Some will be more forward-leaning than others.”

In the meantime, Tesla is in the midst of beta testing its self-driving Autopilot systems, which the company aims to partially roll out in a few months.

As for the whole electric car thing, Tesla’s got that down.

The Model S P85D recently traveled 452.8 miles on a single charge. While the car was traveling at only 24.2 mph, the journey proved to be a huge win for battery tech, which Tesla continues to improve.

Tesla is hoping to increase this range (and at a more realistic driving speed). Musk predicts that the range of the Model S can be increased by between 5% and 10% every year.

And how do they plan to do it? Tesla will mass-produce lithium-ion batteries with a new chemical compound that would not only extend vehicle range but also significantly cut production costs.

Musk hopes to see more electric cars on the road in the future and embraces auto manufacturers to go electric by open-sourcing all of Tesla’s patents, however it will take a considerable amount of time for all vehicles to become electric (and for that matter, autonomous). As far as his predictions for the year 2035? Well, we might not live to see that day.

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