Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed a self-driving version of the company’s luxury Model S could hit showroom floors by as early as 2016.
Speaking to Britain’s Financial Times, Musk said the new ‘autonomous’ Model S will take over approximately 90 per cent of the driving.
The Tesla CEO is so keen on the autonomous project that he’s posted job ads on Twitter, inviting engineers to apply for positions at Tesla and report directly in to him.
Musk also revealed to the publication that Tesla’s approach will involve the use of radar and miniature 360-degree flush-mounted cameras with software and hardware level image processing to put all the information together.
Tesla’s rush to develop its own autopilot technology for the Model S could be a response to market concerns that it was missing a major feature-set commonly found among its luxury rivals: active driver assist features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring.
Other car manufacturers, such as Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, have developed advanced cruise control systems that are not only capable of maintaining a pre-determined distance from the vehicle in front, but are also able to brake the car to a complete stop when travelling at lower speeds.
With automated parking systems already relatively widespread these days, Tesla’s autonomous driving plans may not be such as stretch after all.