Earlier this week, General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] announced it will launch a Cadillac model for the 2017 model year that will be capable of driving autonomously in certain situations. Of course, many other automakers are planning similar technology, including the new kid on the block, Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA].

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.


Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.