Speaking with Japan’s Nikkei daily, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his company was developing its own self-driving technology and expects to have it ready in about three years, roughly when the new Model 3 sedan is scheduled to arrive. The Model 3 will have a starting price of about $35,000 and be capable of driving at least 200 miles on a single charge.
Like rival systems, such as the one promised by GM as well as the Steering Assist system already offered by Mercedes-Benz, Tesla’s self-driving technology will only work in limited situations initially, such as in traffic jams or for highway driving. Eventually, though, Tesla expects to offer a car that is fully autonomous.
"Full auto-pilot capability is going to happen, probably, in the five- or six-year time frame," Musk told the newspaper. "I think in the long term, all Tesla cars will have auto-pilot capability."
During the same interview, Musk hinted at a future collaboration with auto giant Toyota in the area of electric car technology. As a deal to supply battery packs for the Toyota RAV4 EV draws to a close, Musk said the two firms could work on a similar project over the next few years.