He has changed perceptions about the viability of electric sports cars and now Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, is saying people driving their own cars could become outlawed in the near future. He is of course beating the drum for self-driving vehicles, the technology is ready right now, but many more years of testing is required to pass strict safety laws some of which are known others not.
The power of computer technology is the key for the beating of the drum and for self driving technology. Thats because its main drum beater will have a chance to develop a whole new tech industry based around the development of autonomous cars.
Its kind of like the new tech ‘gold rush’ and Musk wants to be at the base of the mountain first.
Think about it like this, you develop revolutionary new software and hardware specifically for self driving cars and your company is the defacto leader. Tens upon millions of cars are sold worldwide each year. The potential licensing agreements alone could be world hundreds if not billions of dollars per year.
Elon Musk hopes so, at a recent Nvida conference he said the autonomous vehicle will be become as commonplace as the smartphone. “You can’t have a person driving a two-ton death machine,” said Musk.
Musk continued “It’s already getting smarter and smarter even with the current hardware. We can make huge progress in autonomy already. … Autonomy is about what level of reliability and safety do you want.”
Tesla’s experience of trialing autonomous cars is based on extensive testing which has flagged up a few issues. Driving on a motorway/freeway is relatively easy but the urban landscape is where things get more complex particularly at speeds of between 15 to 50mph. Currently computer hardware isn’t powerful enough to process information as well as a human can.
“It’s the intermediate that’s hard, it’s being able to recognize what you’re seeing and making the right decision.” said Elon Musk.
The issue with software technology is not due to the limitations of the imagination but the hardware. As computer processors get more powerful year upon year self driving software will be become more ‘aware’ that is to say in just a few years time the technology will be able to out think humans.