Article by David Zambuto | esPResso Staff Writer
On October 20, 2016, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, made a public announcement that Tesla would offer consumers a full fleet of self-driving cars by the end of 2017.
Sources at Tesla’s official website posted an update about the self-driving cars a day before Elon Tusk’s announcement. From the official website, Tesla described the new full self-driving capabilities that “all Tesla vehicles produced…in our factory…will have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.” For the Model S, Model X and Model 3 to have these technological abilities, each vehicle will come equipped with “eight surround cameras [for] 360 degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range,” “twelve updated ultrasonic sensors,” “radar with enhanced processing” and “a new onboard computer with more than 40 times the computing power of the previous.”
Although Musk’s bold statement was received with some doubt, Musk’s plans are aimed to produce a fleet of the cars of the future years before other major competitors such as Ford, Google and China’s Baidu, according to sources at Wired.com. “Ford is aiming for 2021, China’s Baidu for 2019, Google [possibly at 2021].”
Other competition for self-driving cars is, according to sources the international business times, are BMW aiming for 2021, Toyota by 2020 and GM, who hasn’t announced any major plans yet.
As for future orders and consumer activity for the Model 3, sources at the New York Times report that, Tesla aims to price the Model 3 “at $35,000-less than half the cost of its higher-end sedans and Model X sport utility vehicle.” Tesla “expects to begin filling more than 300,000 pre-orders sometime next year.”
As for now, Tesla customers as well as the public will have to wait and see if Tesla’s claim to have self-driving cars will become a reality come 2018. Tesla Motor Inc. and Elon Musk continue to keep impressing the world with the push to get a large fleet of electric cars to the public.