When the ‘smart’ car goes off the rails: The new Tesla’s electric-vehicle ‘stops for you’
Tesla is going big on its electric-car platform, and its electric vehicle division, Tesla Motors, is now testing out a fully autonomous system that will drive itself.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in an interview with CNBC that the autonomous system will “stop for you.”
“If you’re driving down the street, you’ll be able to get your eyes on the road ahead, but if you’re in the backseat, you can do everything on your own,” Musk said.
The company is testing the technology on some cars in Nevada and California, and plans to expand to other countries as it sees fit.
Tesla has also launched its own electric car program, which is being piloted in some parts of China.
The new system, dubbed “Autopilot,” will be developed with the help of Nvidia, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It will use a “deep learning” system that can “see the world around it” in order to anticipate the needs of the car’s driver.
“In a world where people will be taking over more and more, and where it’s going to become more and less likely that humans will drive anything in the future, we’re going to need autonomous vehicles to do what we need them to do,” Musk explained.
Musk said that the system will have “some serious autonomy” but “we’re going with something that’s going for the next five years.”
Musk’s comment about “the next five or 10 years” is an understatement.
The “next five or ten years” will likely be during the next wave of autonomous vehicles.
This will be the era of “self-driving cars,” which will be fully autonomous, with no driver to be in the way.
The technology will have a number of advantages over the cars currently on the roads, including the ability to travel more safely in the city than a traditional car, and be able more quickly to get to destinations.
“We can have self-driving fleets that are as fast as the average car in terms of the time it takes to get somewhere, but we don’t have to wait for a human to get there,” Musk told CNBC.
The world of self-drive cars is not entirely clear, however.
It is unclear how many vehicles the company plans to have on the streets of California by the end of the year, but Musk said the goal is to “have 100 self-driven cars in the United States.”
That number is based on the total number of vehicles in the state of California, which he said is already about 200,000.
The total number is likely higher, since some of the vehicles will not be fully self-aware, and some will have features that make them more autonomous than others.
Tesla’s Autopilot system will be able “to anticipate the world ahead, and you’ll have some serious autonomy,” Musk noted.
“If your car is going to be used in a disaster scenario, that’s what it’s there for.”
The Autopilots are not the only vehicle on the way to self-control.
Earlier this month, Tesla announced that it had signed an agreement with a group of automakers to offer a car that will be equipped with a “self driving capability.”
This will include “a suite of sensors, cameras, ultrasonic, GPS, radar, and cameras,” the Wall St. Journal reported.
The autonomous system “will have some really sophisticated software, and it’s a lot of data,” Musk added.
“It’ll be the same thing that a car with all the sensors and all the software that we have in a car is right now.
And it’ll have a lot more data.”
The autonomous car will be a “smart” car, but the system is still in its infancy.
It has not yet been tested in a real-world environment.
However, “We have a working prototype of what it should look like,” Musk stated.
“There are a lot, many things we’re looking at.
We’ll start by working with our suppliers, and we’re excited to get this working and to see if it’s something we can get out of them.”
Musk has also hinted that Tesla will have an autonomous system for the ride-sharing industry in the not too distant future.
“The next 10 to 20 years is going be a very, very exciting period for us,” he said.
“You’ll see the next 10, 20 years in the world of autonomous driving, and a lot happens in that time.”