Tesla chief executive Elon Musk is in a word, ambitious. He announced on Wednesday that his electric car company was embarking on the creation of a self-driving automobile within the next three years. On Thursday, he reinforced this announcement on Twitter by posting an open call for people to come work on the project.
Intense effort underway at Tesla to develop a practical autopilot system for Model S— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 18, 2013
Engineers interested in working on autonomous driving, pls email email@example.com. Team will report directly to me.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 18, 2013
Tesla's self-driving feature will be added to the company's Model S luxury all-electric vehicle. When the Model S launched last year, it was missing one feature-set commonly found among its luxury competitors: driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, or lane-departure warning.
Now, rather than adding in these various features, it appears that Musk is shooting for the moon and making the entire car self-driving. The upcoming technology is said to allow the Model S to perform 90 percent of driving tasks. Fully autonomous driving will follow on a future date.
In his announcement on Wednesday, Musk said Tesla would develop the technology in-house, as opposed to working with Silicon Valley neighbor Google. Google has been leading the charge in developing self-driving technology over the past couple of years and now is said to be looking for car companies with which to partner.
Besides Tesla, a host of other automobile manufacturers are looking to get into various aspects of the autonomous driving vehicle game, including Audi, Mercedes Benz, Cadillac, Ford, Nissan, and Toyota.