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Tesla to introduce ‘auto-pilot’ driving tech within three years

September 19, 2013

Makers of the pioneering, fully electric Tesla Roadster and Tesla Model S are now planning to offer a car with “auto-pilot” in the next few years. The ambitious plan is to become the first vehicle manufacturer to offer an autonomous vehicle on the market.

Tesla Model S-driving

Although it won’t be a completely driverless vehicle, it is set to do up to 90 per cent of the work. During a recent interview with the Financial Times, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the car will be capable of driving with only 10 per cent human involvement.

Musk has given the project a timeframe of just three years before the almost completely autonomous car hits the market. It’s believed it will be a fully electric vehicle, following the same philosophy typical to the brand in terms of drive dynamics and design.

It will be engineered in-house, borrowing no technology from other companies. In fact, if you look on Tesla’s online job list, there is a position open for an ‘advanced driver assistance systems controls engineer’.

As for fully automated cars, producing and selling such a mode of transport is said to be some years away yet as there are a lot of road legal and technical complications that need to be ironed out first.

Google has already created the technology which provides completely driveless driving, while Mercedes-Benz is not far behind with various semi-auto driving assistance systems already in place. Mercedes-Benz and Nissan are aiming to launch fully autonomous products by 2020.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.