In the past few days I’ve seen predictions that we will have self-driving cars by October, 3 years, 5 years, and probably a few more dates.
The question depends on what we mean by “self-driving”.
Elon Musk was just reported to have predicted fully-autonomous cars in 3 years, although in the quote he hedges a little bit, “My guess for when we’ll have full autonomy is about three years, approximately three years.”
Another interesting question is how widespread driving autonomy will be, when it launches.
Both the iPhone and the fully electric car, for example, were luxury goods when they launched, but decidedly mass-market luxury goods. Not $100,000 toys that only the super-rich could afford.
Tesla, however, has yet produce to a mass-market luxury vehicle (let’s define that as a car in the $40,000 range). So far, Tesla’s strategy has worked, and it has moved steadily down-market from the $100,000+ Roadster. But it will be interesting to see where driving autonomy hits on the price scale.
Originally published at www.davidincalifornia.com on September 28, 2015.