Tesla boss makes some bold predictions about the progress of autonomous and electric cars, undercutting rivals' and OEMs' timeframes

"It will be rare for a car to be produced in 10 years’ time that is not autonomous," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the annual summer meeting of the National Governance Association, which is the representative body for state-funded school governors and trustees throughout England. 

Musk did not say which level of autonomy he meant, but levels three and four are, at this stage, the most commonly cited. Tesla’s Autopilot system currently falls into level three (hands-off autonomy that requires the driver’s attention), and the firm has ambitions to adopt level four - hands-off and eyes-off autonomy, from which the driver can retake control if necessary. 

The British government, in an attempt to strengthen the automotive and technological industries, is currently on a mission to make the UK a hub for the progress of autonomous development, although Germany, with new, autonomous-friendly vehicle legislation, is making progress ahead of the launch of the new Audi A8, which is level three autonomy capable.

Musk’s claim follows Tesla’s field-leading progress in getting autonomous cars on the road. He has also said half of all vehicles produced in 10 years’ time will be powered by electric motors only. 

Registrations of electric vehicles in the UK from January to the end of June - including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen-powered cars - stands at 58,657 cars, or 4.4% of the market, with 7694 of these being full-electric cars. Electric vehicle registrations in 2017 so far are up by 46% from the 5267 registered in 2016, but full EVS still only make up 0.55% of the total number of cars registered across the year so far. 

At its current rate of growth, and providing the UK’s car industry halts growth, in 12 years’ time, EV registrations will equal around half of the total registrations of the UK, so the growth of the segment would have to accelerate considerably for Musk’s prediction to come true. 

This, so far, appears to be happening, although the UK government has come under fire in recent months for its introduction of the new VED rules, which penalise owners of cars which cost more than £40,000, with a ‘Premium Tax’. Since many EVs and hybrids fall under this category, it’s been considered detrimental to the progress of the segment. 

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17

17 July 2017

He would say that, of course, and he might be right, but... he's hardly a man of the people. I mean is he, as a billionaire with flunkies to take care of every aspect and deatail of his schedule, in any position to judge what the average buyer on a wage and with a real integrated working and family life actually wants? It's by no means proven that the majority will embrace autonomy. A survey quoted in a recent TV programme stated that it's a polarising issue, and while 50% love the idea, 50% also hate the idea. Something else to consider is the potential for manually driven cars to bully autonomous ones on the road, because they will be ultra conservative. Sounds fun!

17 July 2017

What percentage of people opt for £700 or so self parking feature available on C segment cars, <5% ?????

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

MrJ

17 July 2017

Musk has led the way with SpaceX and Tesla, not forgetting solar power and recharging. So I'm guessing he's right here. I'm happy to go on a couple of track days a year, but even happier to feed the car a postcode the rest of time, so it can chauffeur me in comfort.

17 July 2017
MrJ wrote:

..., so it can chauffeur me in comfort.

The thing is how much extra would you be prepared to pay for it?

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

17 July 2017
This endlessly comes back to the question of whether you fundamentally like driving.

Scenario. You are with a work colleague and have to take a pool car between offices. Would you rather sit behind the wheel or in the passenger seat?

If you are in the former category, and I sure as hell am, autonomous is not for you.

If you would prefer to let someone else do it, autonomous is a no-brainer. But I would also seriously question what you are doing on this website.

17 July 2017
eseaton wrote:

This endlessly comes back to the question of whether you fundamentally like driving. Scenario. You are with a work colleague and have to take a pool car between offices. Would you rather sit behind the wheel or in the passenger seat? If you are in the former category, and I sure as hell am, autonomous is not for you. If you would prefer to let someone else do it, autonomous is a no-brainer. But I would also seriously question what you are doing on this website.

Oh please spare us your sixth form ruminations. Nobody, in any type of car, enjoys driving in traffic. Even Porsche will build autonomy into their models. Electric, autonomous vehicles  will still be desirable to those who love cars.

17 July 2017
No need to be rude. If you want autonomous, I am pleased for you to have it.

But yes, I would rather drive myself in traffic, which is an incredibly tiny fraction of my 20k miles per year, than have some one or thing do it for me.

Just as you consistently wish to deny me the pleasure of changing gear, now you wish to deny me the pleasure of driving at all.

17 July 2017

Musk isn't a car guy, he is a tech salesman. People who love cars don't want this autonomous bulls**t.

18 July 2017
SmokingCoal wrote:

Musk isn't a car guy, he is a tech salesman. People who love cars don't want this autonomous bulls**t.

That's your uninformed opinion.

17 July 2017

I have forecast that within 10 years most pigs will be drone enabled.

Spanner

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