Elon Musk is the latest to hint autonomous cars are coming sooner than you think
The coming decade is expected to be a significant time for highly automated vehicles, as many manufacturers have announced ambitious goals in this area. Now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is saying almost all cars built in 10 years will be autonomous.
“It will be rare for a car to be produced in 10 years’ time that is not autonomous,” Musk said at the summer meeting of the National Governance Association recently. He also predicted that half of all vehicles will be pure electric at this time.
Musk didn’t specify the capabilities of the autonomous vehicles that will dominate the market in 10 years. On the SAE scale, there are 6 levels of autonomy, with level 0 indicating no automation and level 5 signaling automation in virtually every conceivable driving situation. As we’ve reported, some experts say that by 2020 we’ll see level 4 vehicles where the car makes key decisions such as accelerating, braking, and changing lanes in a controlled environment. Level 5 is likely to arrive by 2030.
According to a recent analysis by AlixPartners, autonomous vehicles will become much more affordable by 2025. The survey also said the cost and volume of EVs could reach parity with traditional combustion engines by that time as well.
Tesla has ambitious plans to roll out its Autopilot Hardware 2 allowing for full automation on its vehicles. Ford will introduce autonomous cars without a steering wheel or pedals to ridesharing services by 2021, although individual customers won’t receive these vehicles until several years later. Meanwhile, BMW will roll out its iNext autonomous car by 2021, and Volkswagen is launching I.D. Pilot mode, its fully autonomous feature, by 2025.