Tesla Motors Inc is once again positioning itself far above its competitors in the self-driving car space. Most car makers working on providing safe and fully automated self-driving cars have only given us vague predictions on when they might have these vehicles ready. Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk, just assured the public that its fully automated cars should be made available in two year’s time.
Tesla: 2 years til self-driving cars
In a recent sit-down with Fortune, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he is confident that the company will have its self-driving cars ready in two years. This time stamp is not only one of the most definite among the estimates of self-driving car availability, but also one of the nearest.
“I think we have all the pieces, and it’s just about refining those pieces, putting them into place, and making sure they work across a huge number of environments – and then we’re done.”
Two years isn’t that long to wait when considering the offers made by other self-driving car makers. Even Google’s parent company, Alphabet, hopes to have their well anticipated cars ready by around 2019. Most manufacturers who are vying to make fully autonomous cars a reality are still sorting out their prototypes. Tesla appears to be one of the only car makers willing to offer a certain completion period.
However, though the assurances from Musk might make the production of self-driving cars seem like a walk in the park, there are a number of factors that need to be considered.
“It’s a much easier problem than people think it is.” says Musk. “But it’s not like George Hotz, a one-guy-and-three-months problem, you know. It’s more like thousands of people for two years.”
Musk told Fortune that building a demo version is much simpler. Producing a finished product that is safe for mass-use and can function in large range of scenarios, that’s the difficult part. Tesla already has semi-autonomous functions on its Model S car. However, the company says this is a far cry from what the company wants to achieve. You can’t fall asleep at the wheel and wake up at your destination yet, Musk said earlier this year.
Despite this, the CEO appears certain about Tesla Motor’s progress in the field. This is a lot more than what can be said for other producers at this time.