Tesla CEO Musk Discusses “Autopilot” Feature of Future Vehicles

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 6

Musk Discusses "Autopilot" Function of Future Vehicles

Musk Discusses “Autopilot” Function of Future Vehicles

Driverless technology is out there and it seems Google is currently leading the way.  Its fleet of driverless Toyota Prius hybrids have been out on roads in some states for quite awhile now, but will they soon be joined by driverless or self-driving Teslas?

Google's Self-Driving Car Puts Smiles on Everyone's Face

Google’s Self-Driving Car Puts Smiles on Everyone’s Face

No.  But let us explain why.

First, Tesla CEO Elon Musk doesn’t like the term “self-driving,” so we won’t see those types of Tesla.  Musk says the word “autopilot” is more fitting.

“I like the word autopilot more than I like the word self- driving.  Self-driving sounds like it’s going to do something you don’t want it to do. Autopilot is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.”

So, are “autopilot” Teslas coming soon?  Again the answer is “no.”

Why?  Well, ask Musk says, Google’s laser-radar systems for self-driving are far too expensive to fit to production vehicles.  Musk says an optical setup with cameras and sensors is both cheaper and simpler.

“The problem with Google’s current approach is that the sensor system is too expensive.  It’s better to have an optical system, basically cameras with software that is able to figure out what’s going on just by looking at things.”

Will future Teslas be fitted with such a system?  Maybe, but not anytime soon.

Musk admits to discussing some of this technology with Google recently, but says Tesla’s focus right now is not on autopilot functionality.

“We’re not focused on autopilot right now—we will be in the future.  Autopilot is not as important as accelerating the transition to electric cars, or to sustainable transport.”

Then Musk took to the kingdom of Twitter to clarify a few of his statements.

Musk Triple Tweets to Clarify a Few Autopilot Statements

Musk Triple Tweets to Clarify a Few Autopilot Statements

So, autopilot Tesla aren’t a priority at this point in time.

via Automotive News

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6 responses to "Tesla CEO Musk Discusses “Autopilot” Feature of Future Vehicles"

  1. Warren says:

    The only sustainable transport, in a world of 9 billion people will be walking. And only then until the food or water runs out. And we won’t have to go to Mars to experience a dead planet.

  2. Mark H says:

    IMO I see auto pilot used differently which is perfectly suited for a Tesla. Think more driving your Tesla to a dinner party or to work/meeting/etc., drive directly to your destination, and send your auto to the parking deck to park itself. Legislation is most likely going to limit auto pilot to a limited speed in the beginning. With wireless charging it could be programmed to begin the charge phase as well.
    Phase two may be auto pilot taxis made up of Leafs and Prius but don’t discount Elon Musk so fast. He see things others do not. He is not interested in the technology for someone else.

  3. Steven says:

    Simply put, the S is a “Driver’s Car”. Auto-pilot or ever you want to call it gets between the Driver (big D) and the car. And I don’t think that’s what the Targeť market of the S wants.

    1. Mark H says:

      Try not thinking driving applications. Think valet. Think auto park on steroids. Then think S.

  4. kdawg says:

    They have auto-pilot cars now. They are called taxis.

    1. Mark H says:

      Probably more than half of taxi services would function better with a driver but there are many shuttle services world wide that take you for example from the airport to your hotel at under 35 mph. (Not any hotel, just the one out of walking distance. The taxi/shuttle may be maintained by the hotel.

      Let your smart phone/device and smart taxi work together to find each other. You get off the plane, que the smart taxi, the smart taxi tells your smart device where it will be and starts plotting your walk route through the airport. The smart taxi knows your concourse/location so it moves closer to you.

      These slow mph areas often are where pollution is worse and is best suited for a smart EV taxi/shuttle. Again limited range/mph in the beginning but still lots of short distance uses like the article Mark Krane posted.

      I still think Tesla has a fancy “auto park” in mind even before this application where you get out of your Tesla and it heads to the parking deck on its own. My past life was programming intensive. I would love to code or even flow chart this. Easy applications everywhere without being all inclusive driving and most of them favor EVs.