Articles, Cognitive Vehicles, Level 5 Autonomous Driving

Elon Musk Announces Autonomous Tesla Vehicles – But Will He Deliver?

Elon Musk, CEO of the manufacturer Tesla, announced that it would soon be possible to drive with autonomous Teslas. Musk is known for having his very own style of management and was now criticized for his recent announcement about autonomous driving.

What is it all about?

In an interview with ARK Invest, the head of Tesla, Elon Musk, announced that it would soon be possible to fall asleep in a Tesla and arrive at the destination totally relaxed, meaning that it would soon be possible to buy an autonomous Tesla. Specifically, he explained that this would be feasible by the end of the year. The car would then be able to drive to the parking lot on its own, pick up people and transport them to their destination. Although one would still have to pay attention to traffic, this could be a thing of the past next year. He added that he was sure of it. The only catch would be if the authorities would not allow it. That would be the only obstacle.

But Musk is also known to make empty promises. He had already announced in 2015 that the Tesla vehicles would be autonomous by 2017. One year earlier, the company wanted to achieve over 90 percent autonomy by 2015. Later, this statement was corrected by saying, it had referred to motorways. Musk also announced an automated drive of a Tesla from one coast os the US to another. This was already successfully carried out in 2015 by the then supplier Delphi, now Aptiv. Musk had to postpone this to 2017 and then to 2018. But even last year there was no such trip.

Criticism of the announcements

The head of the car dealer AutoNation Mike Jackson described Musk’s recent announcement as “almost unethical”. The promise can hardly be kept and Musk has already broken quite a few of his promises. Many critics have made similar statements about the autopilot system, which allows the automation of vehicles. It would imply that the car would drive by itself, which it in fact cannot.

According to a previous announcement by Tesla, there will soon be an AI chip that will accelerate the automation of the vehicles. This would also allow for a higher degree of automation – which level exactly, however, still remains unclear.

About the author:

David Flora is journalist and owner of the digital magazine “Autonomes Fahren & Co”. He is reporting regularly about trends and technologies in the fields Autonomous Driving, HMI, Telematics and Robotics. Link to his site: http://www.autonomes-fahren.de

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