Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, is not one to shy away from deadlines—but his latest announcement seems pretty aggressive, even by his personal (and very optimistic) standards. Speaking at the Code Conference, Musk said: “I think we are less than two years away from complete [vehicle] autonomy, safer than humans, but regulations should take at least another year.”
Currently, Tesla seems to be leading the pack of automakers seeking to make a fully-autonomous vehicle. Speculations regarding the possible announcement of the Model 3 consumer sedan, with full self-driving capabilities, is already setting the industry abuzz.
Fellow tech and auto companies like Google, GM, Uber, Ford, and Lyft are trailing behind Tesla with their soon-to-be-unveiled technology. While the Tesla CEO did not confirm the much-anticipated feature at the event, he did say the company will be hosting another event later this year.
But other experts are skeptical of his timeline. Most other major players push the date for total autonomy back to the 2020s. Dan Ammann, General Motors president, stated in 2014 that GM should have self-driving cars by 2020. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn also gave a 2020 timeline for the technology.
Gill Pratt, who heads work on Toyota's driverless cars, also said that it would be more than four years. “We are a long way from the finish line of fully autonomous cars.”