Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is working on a driverless car. That’s no secret. In February, the U.S. electric vehicle maker inked a deal with Israeli vehicle safety systems manufacturer Mobileye to develop a self-driving car. EVWorld reports that Tesla Motors will be using Better Place’s charging network in Israel to test its driverless car. Haaretz has learned that a single Model S sedan will arrive Israel next month.
One Tesla Model S to arrive Israel next month
Better Place electric car network company was founded by Shai Agassi. The Israeli company launched its first electric vehicle in 2012. The company build a network of charging stations across Israel and other countries to service the electric vehicles it sold. However, Agassi was ousted from the company, and Better Place declared bankruptcy in May 2013. Better Place is unlikely to get back on its feet any time soon.
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EVWorld says that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is likely to take advantage of the infrastructure already set by Better Place. Mobileye developed the collision avoidance technology. The Israeli company was recently approved by the Transport Ministry to import one electric vehicle to test its driverless navigation system as it tries to commercially produce such a system for Tesla and other automakers. Mobileye’s system won’t completely replace human involvement in driving the car – it will require driver input 5% of the time. The Israeli company’s system is not comparable to Google Inc’s technology, which doesn’t need driver involvement.
Tesla gears up to launch self-driving car by 2016
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) co-founder and chief Elon Musk has said that the company will launch a driverless car in 2016. Musk has acknowledged that the final small gap is quite hard to bridge. Mobileye co-founder Amnon Shashua said that it’s not automatic driving where you just put the address in and go to sleep. You can transfer control to the system for a limited period of time. For example, you can temporarily turn over control to switch radio stations or to read text messages.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares inched up 0.17% to $208.32 at 1:12 PM EDT on Thursday.