Elon Musk Predicts Driverless Cars To Be The Norm In 10 Years
A dabbler in a multitude of fields, including rocket science, solar energy, not to mention the auto industry, Elon Musk has all the warrant to make predictions about the future, especially if his companies stand as preliminary agents that'll probably help enable his forecasts.
10 Years From Now, Automakers Will Build Cars With Full Autonomy In Mind
In terms of the auto industry, Musk says that in just 10 years, automakers will manufacture and produce cars designed with full autonomous driving capability such as driverless functionality in mind, as reported by Business Insider.
Musk thinks autonomy and artificial intelligence will incur stellar advancements moving forward, speaking at a Summit in Dubai Monday.
"My guess is that in probably 10 years it will be very unusual for cars to be built that are not fully autonomous."
At present, Tesla's vehicles are already designed and built with sensors that will enable full driverless navigation, and according to him Tesla aims to drive one of its autonomous vehicles across the country with no one behind the wheel before 2017 closes.
While Tesla has developed the technology underpinning its autonomous vehicles, it doesn't mean that the automaker has let out its Autopilot technology — that largely depends on key factors such as regulatory approval.
Other automakers mirror Musk's forecast, if a few years off from his prognosis. Ford, for instance, hopes to commercially release its Level 4 autonomous car by 2021, while others are also aiming for a 2021 launch of Level 3 autonomous vehicles.
It Will Take A While Before All Cars Can Become Fully Autonomous
But despite the visible incipience of autonomous driving technology, and in spite of Musk's clear-cut trajectory, it might take long before the impact can take shape; it might take a while before people can feel the effect of that inflection point.
Musk informed the Summit that there are about 2 billion cars globally, with annual car output hovering near 100 million, which is simply logical, according to Musk, seeing as how the average functional life of a car is about 20 to 25 years.
"[It] will take a lot of time to make enough autonomous vehicles to disrupt," he said. "So that disruption will take place over about 20 years."
While there at the Summit, Musk also dished about other forecasts, which includes his solution to economic problems ushered by automation, a future with humans as cyborgs, and underground cities, as per a report by International Business Times.
Tesla has recently been the target of heated press coverage after an employee alleged the company of poor working conditions, low wages, among others — accusations Musk has called "morally outrageous."
Musk has also been the topic of criticism for staying in Trump's advisory panel, after vehement encouragement to do otherwise. By contrast, Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick, bid farewell to Trump's panel after a Twitter maelstrom accused him of exploiting the unrest caused by the President's Muslim Ban.
Musk reasoned out that his decision to stay with Trump's advisory council doesn't signal his loyalty or parallel beliefs to those of Trump's. His goals are to ease the world's transition to sustainable energy, among other things.
Think Musk's window checks out? Will automakers produce cars built with driverless technology off the bat? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!