Tesla Motors’ CEO, at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference, claimed that the transition to autonomous cars is bound to happen, although such a turnaround could take decades to be realized. Moreover, he asserted that self-driving cars would be so much safer than manually driven ones that human drivers will not be trusted behind the wheel anymore and legislators might outlaw them.
Tesla CEO confident on autonomous car potential
Contemplating the future of the self-driving cars, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed his strong belief in the reality of self-driving cars by stating, “We’ll take autonomous cars for granted in a short period of time.”
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However, he also emphasized that the process is going to take a considerable amount of time. In regard to this, he further added that in view of the current average rate of 500 million new cars per year, it would take almost two decades to replace the 2 billion cars on the road today.
Talking about the safety of self-driving cars, the Tesla CEO asserted that autonomous cars are going to be much safer than human-driven ones, and, “In the distant future, [legislators] may outlaw driven cars because they’re too dangerous.”
Mass market not a reality yet?
In addition, reflecting on the advancement concerning autonomous cars, the Tesla CEO said that, presently, a computer can easily control cars in the speed limit of 5-10 mph, as vehicles can be halted in the range of ultrasonic sensors. Also the speed of 50 mph on a highway is manageable as the freeway road does not seem to pose many complications. However, problems can arise between 10-50 mph with cars having to adapt to the urban environment, considering starting and stopping, pedestrians and other objects.
According to Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Nissan-Renault Alliance, the autonomous car revolution will be realized in phases, first in the form of self-driving cars emerging next year, the second in 2018, when cars will be able to self-drive on the highway and change lanes, and third, when cars will be able to do city driving around 2020.
The idea of autonomous cars has fantasized the car industry, with companies like Nissan and Audi and tech firms such as Google and NVIDIA working on it. Though the concept is certainly viable, mass market self-driven cars are still not a reality yet.