Electric car upstart Tesla Motors wants to build and sell a self-driving car by 2016, to beat rival automakers like Nissan and General Motors to market by four years.
Tesla’s semi-autonomous vehicle would handle 90 percent of driving tasks, CEO Elon Musk told the Financial Times. Cars that drive completely by themselves will take a little longer to develop, he said.
The automaker apparently wants to develop the technology completely in-house; earlier this year he told Bloomberg he wasn’t ruling out a partnership with autonomous car pioneer Google, but explained they do have major differences in their approach to the technology.
Musk’s to-market-by-2016 timeline is rather ambitious considering they’ve currently little experience with self-driving or “autopilot” car technology. Musk has, in fact, been personally tweeting requests for autonomous car experts’ job applications.
Rival automakers Nissan, Daimler and General Motors, who each have invested much more time and money into autonomous cars than Tesla, recently announced plans to make self-driving cars available by 2020. Experts presume it may take up to 10 years before an autonomous car is commercially available.
(Reuters via Automotive News)